ATTENTION! I am here to tell you that Medjool Dates and Granny Smith Apple belong in your meatballs!
I was craving meatballs but I wanted to switch things up and try something new. I recently picked up some Medjool Dates and thought they would bring a nice element of sweetness to the savory meatball. As I was reaching for the dates, my eye caught a lone Granny Smith apple, et voila; a match made in meatball Heaven!
I served these Date and Apple Meatballs with a Garlicky-Dill Yogurt, and (OMG!) we could not stop eating them! I’m pretty sure Rez and I “sampled” our weight in meatballs while hovering over the stove. I wish I took a video of Rez trying them for the first time, because his face said it all. The flavor of these meatballs is unexpected and unique. I have a feeling I’ll be getting requests to make this again soon!
Meatballs with Medjool Dates and Granny Smith Apple
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1 lb ground beef
- 5 garlic cloves peeled and smashed
- ½ white onion peeled and chopped into large pieces
- 1 granny smith apple peeled, core removed, and chopped into large pieces; Must use a tart apple for this recipe.
- 6 Medjool dates pits removed and diced
- 1 egg beaten
- ⅔ cup breadcrumbs pulsed homemade is ideal
- 1 tsp freshly ground pepper
- 2 tsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp fresh rosemary chopped
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme chopped
- 5 tbsp oil for pan-frying like vegetable, sunflower etc
- Add pork and beef to the a large bowl; set aside for a few.
- Add onion, apple, and garlic to the bowl of a food processor; pulse until it looks like a paste with really small pieces still visible. Using a silicone spatula, empty the bowl of the food processor overtop of the ground pork and beef.
- Add dates, egg, breadcrumbs, black pepper, salt, rosemary, and thyme; mix gently (using clean hands) to combine. Be careful not to over-mix because this will result in dry and tough meatballs.
- Roll into equally-sized balls and place in a large casserole dish. Cover and place in the fridge for 30 minutes-1 hr. This step helps keep the meatballs together while cooking and allows the flavors to permeate the meat.
- Heat 5 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the meatballs in batches, being careful not to crowd the pan. Cook each side undisturbed until they're nice and brown, about 5 minutes.