Persian Turkey Kofta
with baby kale salad / herb dressing
A Persian-inspired combination of spices give these meatballs a truly uniqe flavor. Add a fresh and crispy salad and creamy sauce for a meal with many layers.
Smarts: Keep in mind that the larger / thicker the kofta the longer they will take to cook. Though traditionally rolled into long ovals so that they can be cooked over a grill, these will work great if just rolled into meatballs. Use any shape you prefer.
- Onions, medium - 1/4, finely chopped
- Salt - 3/4 tsp
- Cumin, ground - 1 tsp
- Cinnamon - 1/2 tsp
- Coriander, ground - 1/2 tsp
- Black pepper - 1/2 tsp
- Ground turkey - 1 lb (look for dark meat ground turkey for the most flavor)
- Oil, cooking - 1 Tbsp
- Stock, any type - 1/4 cup (sub water)
- Pistachios, shelled - 1/2 cup
- Pomegranate seeds - 1/2 cup (look for these removed from the pomegranate shells in the produce section)
- Cucumbers - 8 oz, chopped
- Baby kale - 6 oz
- Oil, olive - 1 Tbsp, more if needed
- Lemon juice - 1 Tbsp, more if needed
- Garlic - 1 clove, chopped
- Parsley - 2 tsp, chopped
- Tahini - 1/2 cup
- Vinegar, white wine - 2 tsp
- Honey - 1/2 tsp
- Onions / Pistachios (if not already shelled) / Pomegranate seeds (if not already shelled) / Garlic / Parsley - Prep as directed. Store onions, pistachios, and pomegranate seeds in their own separate containers. Combine garlic and parsley in another container. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make dressing - Whisk together garlic, parsley, tahini, vinegar, and honey. Season with some salt and pepper. (Can be done up to 5 days ahead)
- Make kofta - Combine onions, salt, cumin, cinnamon, coriander, black pepper, and ground turkey in a mixing bowl and mix gently until even. Form into meatballs - you can make these into long skinny meatballs as in the photos or into regular round meatballs. Estimate about 4 meatballs / serving. (Can be done up to 2 days ahead)
- Cucumbers - Chop cucumbers.
- Heat a large skillet with cooking oil over medium heat. Add kofta and sear on all sides until deep golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes. Add stock and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook, covered, until kofta are cooked all the way through, 3 to 4 minutes more.
- While kofta cooks, combine pistachios, pomegranate seeds, cucumbers, and baby kale in a large bowl.
- Just before serving, toss salad with olive oil and lemon juice, adding more as needed to lightly coat all ingredients.
- Give dressing a good stir. (If the dressing was made ahead and has thickened, you can whisk in a small amount of water.)
- Serve kofta with salad on the side and dressing over everything. Enjoy!
We LOVED this meal! It was quick to put together and delicious. Even the kids ate it all up. We skipped the pomegranate seeds because my husband can never find them, but we didn't feel like we were missing them. I'm going to add this to the rotation. It's a great meal for the spring and summer. We also thought it would be really good in a warm pita with the meatballs, salad and dressing!2 Helpful
Salad was fantastic - I didn't even put the dressing on it, just used the olive oil and lemon juice. The meatballs fell apart when we were cooking them - maybe I made them too small? We meal prep on the weekend, so this was breeze to put together. Otherwise it would have been tough.0 Helpful
The turkey kofta were tasty, but I think they'd have been better if they were lamb or beef. The salad, however, was a definite keeper!0 Helpful
This was a simple meal that was a hit with the whole family.0 Helpful
Really loved this. Subbed ground lamb and added smoked paprika and parsley to the spice mix. Can't get pomegranates this time of year so I subbed dried cranberries and used sunflower seeds and pita chips in the salad.0 Helpful
Turkey balls were yummy. COuldnt make the salad cause my greens went bad :( Would make again!0 Helpful
Whole family gave thumbs up. Cooking meat in broth made it juicy and yummy. Loved the salad!0 Helpful