I’ve been in a bit of a recipe rut of late, but our recent family holiday to the beautiful white island has proven a new source of food inspiration. Ibizan food it seems is having a moment in the sun, scuse the pun.
We were spoilt with proper ibérico ham (I read that there’s more ‘ibérico’ being sold in the UK than is being produced in the world...), Ibizan beers, cheeses, honey and sobrasada. And good meals were in abundance from cool casual street delis, to outdoor garden BBQ restaurants with live butchery, and lunchtime delights at tiny family run restaurants and heladerias.
On our travels around the island we picked up a few foodie goodies to bring home. Salt (of course, it’s the main export), saffron honey (my oh my on fresh goats cheese it’s a thing of wonder), vinegared anchovy fillets (give me a chilled beer and some of these on a Friday eve and I’m a happy girl) and the Eivissa Food cookbook.
I don’t mind admitting I bought this book for the photography (luscious, rugged, sun drenched) but its the simple recipes and ingredient combinations that really got me hooked. Like the inventive harissa chicken burgers that inspired this little meatball dish here.
Made with minced chicken, carrot, rolled oats and some fiery harissa paste, their flavour is sweet and hot, and their texture juicy and soft. Ideal with some labneh, tzatziki or just good old fashioned yogurt, served on top of cous cous or stuffed inside some hot pitta breads, whichever takes your fancy as is the Ibizan way.
They’re so simple and tasty I initially wondered why I hadn’t made something similar before, but actually I like that I haven’t. That even as a food lover through and through there are still umpteen flavour combinations I’m yet to try, so many dishes I’m yet to make. It’s a realisation that gives me a nudge towards buying more cookbooks. That and booking more trips...
Meatballs for two as a main
- 500g chicken thigh/breast, or 500g minced turkey breast
- 3 tbsp harissa paste
- 1 large carrot
- 60g rolled oats
- 1/2 medium red onion
- 1 large clove garlic, peeled
- 1 handful fresh coriander
- 1 level tsp smoked paprika
- Olive oil and a little sunflower oil for frying
- Combine all the ingredients apart from the meat and cooking oil in a food processor and blitz until quite smooth. Then add the chicken or turkey and blend again until combined. Form in to balls using your hands, dipping your hands in warm water between to make it easier (the mix can be quite sticky).
- Place the meatballs on to a plate and leave them in the fridge for an hour to firm up a little. When ready to cook, remove them from the fridge and fry in a medium hot pan (make sure the pan is hot before putting them in, otherwise they’ll stick) turning a few times during cooking, they should take around 8 to 9 minutes in total to cook through.
- Serve on top of veggie cous cous, inside salad stuffed pitta breads or just on their own dipped in to yogurt.