Summer Herb Meatballs With Avocado Dip

Serves 4.

Note: The meatballs can be rolled, skewered and refrigerated for up to 1 day. The avocado dip can be puréed, covered with plastic wrap, and refrigerated for up to 1 day.

• 2 1/2 c. packed leafy green herbs, such as parsley, cilantro and mint, divided

• 5 green onions, very thinly sliced

• 1/2 c. quick-cooking oats

• 1 egg, lightly beaten

• 1 lb. ground beef (80/20) or lamb

• 2 tsp. ground cumin or coriander or a combination

• Kosher salt

• Aleppo pepper or other red chile flakes, for sprinkling, optional

• 1 large ripe avocado, halved, pitted and peeled

• 1/4 c. fresh lemon juice


Set up a charcoal grill for direct heat grilling or heat the burners of a gas grill on medium-high. (Alternatively, heat a large skillet or grill pan on a stovetop over medium-high heat.) If using bamboo skewers, soak 8 in a shallow dish in cold water.

Pulse 2 cups of herbs in a food processor until finely chopped. Or, chop the herbs by hand. Reserve 1 tablespoon sliced green onions.

Mix the oats, egg, beef, cumin, herbs, green onions and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt in a large bowl with your hands until well blended. Roll the mixture into 24 balls (about 1 ounce each). Slide 3 balls onto each skewer.

Grill, turning once, until charred on the outside and cooked through inside, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with Aleppo pepper if desired. Let rest while preparing the sauce.

While the meatballs rest, purée the avocado, lemon juice, remaining 1 tablespoon green onions, remaining 1/2 cup herbs, and 1 teaspoon salt in the same food processor used to chop the herbs. Or, you can finely chop the herbs by hand and smash and mix everything together until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl and serve with the meatballs.

Nutrition information per serving:

Calories 340 Fat 20 g

Sodium 1,270 mg Carbohydrates 15 g

Saturated fat 6 g Added sugars 0 g

Protein 25 g Cholesterol 115 mg

Dietary fiber 5 g

Exchanges per serving: 1 starch, 3 medium-fat protein, 1 fat.