This Mediterranean Bowl is one of those “happened on accident” recipes and I’m not mad about it. This bowl is packed with tons of different flavors and they come together so nicely!
I had a whole different plan in my head but that plan was side tracked when I was out of multiple ingredients that I needed. So I starting subbing a couple ingredients here and there and added some more things and voila! Here is the Mediterranean Bowl!
Ingredients in this Mediterranean Bowl
- Ground pork
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- All spice
- Lemon zest
- Red onion
- Garlic and herb cheese spread (I used Alouette)
- Fresh mint
- Fresh oregano
- Cherry pepper hummus
- Lemon chutney
Tips for the best Mediterranean Bowl
- Get a good sear on your meatballs, this adds great flavor and texture
- Make the hummus and chutney several days ahead of time so you save time the night of dinner
- Serve your naan nice and hot for the best texture and flavor
- Invest in a meat thermometer if you don’t have one so you can check the temp of your meatballs to make sure you aren’t over cooking them. Over cooked meatballs = DRY
- A little bit of chutney goes a long way. It is extremely delicious but also very strong
- Season and roll your meatballs a day ahead of time if you can so that the flavors have time to meld and you can save yourself some time the day you’re making the bowl
What is Lemon Chutney?
Lemon chutney is a very versatile condiment originally from India that has an array of flavors mixed in to make one delicious topping. It is sour, sweet, salty and spicy and that is what makes it SO delicious. Chutney can be used on a wide variety of things such as rice, naan, chicken and other meats, crackers, cheese and many more.
What is in Lemon Chutney?
- Garlic cloves
- Cider vinegar
- Fresh ginger (or the tube of ginger in the produce section at the grocery store)
- Cayenne pepper
- Red pepper flakes
- Ground cardamom
- Kosher salt
- Ground cinnamon
- Brown sugar
How to make lemon chutney
Mince the garlic and add it to a heavy bottomed pot. Peel the lemons being very careful to only take the yellow skin off then mince the lemon skin and add it to the pot. Carefully take your knife and cut off the white part of the lemon (the pith) leaving only the flesh. Dice the flesh and add it to the pot along with the remaining ingredients and cook on medium heat until you reach a boil. Turn the heat down to low and simmer the chutney for about 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally until thick.
What is cherry pepper hummus?
Cherry pepper hummus is a hummus blend including jarred mild sweet cherry peppers, garlic, coriander, cumin, cayenne, lemon juice, salt, garbanzo beans and olive oil. Typically I don’t add tahini to my hummus because I just never have it on hand. I do love it and if I could find a small amount I would put it in. There’s no sense in it going to waste when I don’t use it up but this recipe would be just fine if you wanted to add some in. I would add about 1/4 cup.
How to make cherry pepper hummus
Cherry pepper hummus is super easy to make! Take the seeds out of the cherry peppers and add all the ingredients into the food processor. Puree until smooth. Just that simple!
Making the Mediterranean Bowl
First you’ll want to make the lemon chutney and the cherry pepper hummus a few days ahead of time so you can give the flavors time to meld and save time the night of dinner.
Making the Meatballs
Next you can start the meatballs. Spray a parchment paper lined baking tray with non stick cooking spray and set to the side. Add the ground pork, grated onion, garlic, salt, pepper, cumin, allspice, coriander, lemon zest, egg and oats into a medium sized bowl. Mix until combined evenly. Roll the pork into 1.5oz balls. If you have a kitchen scale, that works great for measuring the meatballs. You can also use a 1oz cookie scoop and just go a little heavy with it. Add the meatballs to your baking tray as you go. These can also be done 1 day ahead of time if you’d like.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. If you mix the meatballs a day ahead of time, take them out of the refrigerator about an hour before cooking to bring them back to room temp. Using a heavy bottomed skillet and high heat, get the skillet nice and hot. Add a drizzle of olive oil and swirl it around the pan, wait about 10 seconds for the oil to become hot as well. This is very important to have a hot pan and hot oil for a nice sear.
Add the meatballs to the pan and flip after about 1 minute or when the meat is a nice medium brown with a crust. Do the same thing to the other side of the meatballs. Remove the meatballs from the pan and place them onto the parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes. Use a meat thermometer check the temperature of a couple meatballs making sure the temperature is 160°F. It will rise about another 5° after coming out of the oven.
Get the remaining ingredients ready for the bowl
While the meatballs are in the oven, slice the red onion and cucumber into thin slices. Rip the mint leaves off the stems and do the same with the fresh oregano. For this particular recipe I like to keep the mint and oregano leaves whole and just place them on top at the end of the dish.
You’ll want to warm your naan right before the meatballs are coming out of the oven so it stays nice and warm for you to eat, the texture and taste of naan is amazing when it’s hot. Place a small drizzle of oil in a hot skillet and warm each side of the naan. Mince a little bit of fresh mint and oregano to top the naan with if you’d like and cut each piece into quarters.
Build your bowl!
Now its time to build the bowl! You can build it however you like but I take each ingredient and put it in its own section in the bowl. Place the meatballs in one section, spoon some of the garlic and herb cheese spread into the middle of the bowl and add some hummus next to the cheese. Top the meatballs and hummus with lemon chutney ( a little goes a long way) and add a small handful of cucumbers and a few pieces of red onion. Garnish with the mint and oregano leaves and set the cut pieces of naan on the side of the bowl. Enjoy!
Check out more Dinner recipes!
- food processor
- stove top
- 7 lemons
- 2 cups brown sugar
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1/2 cup cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger grated
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
Cherry Pepper Hummus
- 16 oz mild cherry peppers drained, seeded
- 15.5 oz garbanzo beans drained
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/4 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- 1.5 lbs ground pork
- 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
- 1/2 small onion grated
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- 1.25 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp coriander
- 1/8 tsp all spice
- 5 oz garlic herb cheese spread alouette
- 1 English cucumber sliced thin
- 1/4 red onion thin julienne
- 3 pieces naan cut into quarters
- 1/2 cup fresh mint pulled off the stems
- 1 tsp fresh oregano pulled off the stems
Making the lemon chutney
- Peel the lemons being very careful to only take off the yellow skin, leaving the white pith on the lemon. Mince the yellow lemon skin. Peel the pith off the lemon and discard. Chop the remaining flesh left from the lemon and transfer the flesh, juice and yellow skin to a heavy bottomed sauce pan
- Add all the rest of the chutney ingredients to the sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the chutney reaches a boil turn the heat down to low and simmer for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally until the chutney is thick. Remove from the heat and let cool
Making the cherry pepper hummus
- Drain and remove the seeds and stems from the cherry peppers and place them in the food processor
- Add the remaining hummus ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth. Set the hummus aside
Making the meatballs
- Preheat the oven to 400°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and spray it with a non stick cooking spray
- Place the ground pork and oatmeal into a medium size mixing bowl
- Grate the onion with a cheese grater over the top of the pork
- Add the remaining meatball ingredients and mix well
- Either weigh each meatball with a kitchen scale to 1.5oz or use an overflowing 1oz cookie scoop to measure out the meatballs. Roll them into balls and place them on the baking sheet
- When all meatballs are rolled and ready to go heat a heavy bottomed skillet on medium – high heat until the pan is nice and hot. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and swirl around, leave the oil in the pan for about 10 more seconds to make sure it's nice and hot for your sear
- Place the meatballs in the pan about a half an inch apart making sure not to crowd the pan. Sear for 1 min until there is a nice brown crust on the meatball. Turn the meatballs over and do the same on the other side
- Place the meatballs back on the baking sheet and into the oven for 20 min. Check the temperature to make sure they've reached 160°F and set them on a plate
Preparing the garnishes
- While the meatballs cook, slice the cucumber and red onion into thin slices
- Pick the fresh mint and fresh oregano leaves off the stems and set to the side
- In a hot skillet lightly drizzled with olive oil warm the naan. After taking the naan out of the skillet cut each piece of naan into quarters
Building the bowl
- Place 4-5 meatballs in a bowl in one spot
- Add the garlic herb cheese spread to the middle of the bowl
- Add the hummus to the side of the meatballs. Top the hummus and the meatballs with lemon chutney ( a little goes a long way)
- Add the onion and cucumber to the bowl and top with the mint and oregano leaves
- Add 3-4 pieces of the cut naan to the bowl