Neil Perry's lamb meatballs with onion salad and hummus

Neil Perry's lamb meatballs with onion salad and hummus.
Neil Perry's lamb meatballs with onion salad and hummus. Photo: William Meppem

This is one of my favourite dishes to cook at home. It's great to eat wrapped in warm flatbread. This quick version of hummus using tinned chickpeas turns out pretty nicely, and it's also delicious with grilled seafood or roasted poultry. You could use beef, chicken or pork mince instead of lamb for the meatballs.

Ingredients

For the meatballs

500g minced lamb

½ onion, finely diced

½ tsp cumin powder

1 small handful flat-leaf parsley leaves, finely chopped

1 tsp mild chilli flakes

2 cloves garlic, crushed

For the salad

1 red onion, finely sliced

1 lemon, juice only

1 tsp sumac

1 small handful mixed leaves and herbs

For the hummus

300g tinned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tsp cumin powder

1 lemon, juice only

sea salt

freshly ground black pepper

120ml extra virgin olive oil

flatbread, to serve

Method

1. Put all the meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl with a good pinch of sea salt and mix well. Form into 4cm balls and squash slightly, making more of a rugby ball shape.

2. For the salad, put onion in a bowl with lemon juice and add sea salt to taste. Mix well, marinate for 10 minutes, then add sumac, leaves and herbs and mix well.

3. For the hummus, place the chickpeas, cumin, lemon, salt and pepper in a food processor and purée, drizzling in the oil as you go. Blend to a fine paste, taste for seasoning and add more salt or lemon if you think it requires it.

4. Heat a barbecue or heavy-based pan to high. Cook the meatballs for 3-4 minutes on each side until charred but still juicy.

5. Place meatballs on the salad and serve immediately with the hummus, flatbread and, if you wish, garlic-flavoured yoghurt.