Dishing Up the Dirt

Lamb Meatballs with Beet Relish & Yogurt

I originally made this recipe for my cookbook, Local Dirt. However, I didn’t get the photograph for the recipe into my publisher on time so the recipe didn’t make the cut. The good news is that I get to share it here instead! Some things just work out the way they’re supposed to.

Last weekend I went digging in the upper field of the farm and came inside with a few pounds of overwintered beets! They are so dang tasty right now thanks to spending a few months under a frozen ground (which sweetens them right up!) I have always been a fan of pairing beets with lamb but you can use another type of meat if you prefer. I’m actually starting a new little addition to the blog where I’m giving options on how to localize the recipe which you’ll see down below. Anyhow, after finding the beets at the farm I was inspired to whip this up after not making it for a long time. It was absolutely delicious and was a nice break from some of the heavier foods we’ve been enjoying this winter. The beet relish gives this a bright flavor and the yogurt sauce brings a nice tang to the dish.

I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do. Cheers to the winter bounty!

Localize it:

Can’t find local lamb? Ground beef, venison or elk would be lovely here. Beets are my go-to root for the relish but a fun twist could be a sweet potato, winter squash or even carrots. You can use any fresh herb in place of the parsley and cow’s milk, goat milk, sheep’s milk or your favorite plain yogurt can be used in the yogurt sauce.

Lamb Meatballs with Beet Relish & Yogurt Sauce

Prep Time: 30 minutes    Cook Time: 30 minutes    Serves: 4-6

Beet Relish:
  • 2 medium sized beets, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 3 scallions, finely chopped, white and pale green parts only
  • ¼ cup finely chopped parsley
  • salt and pepper
Yogurt Sauce:
  • 1 cup plain whole milk yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 ½ pounds ground lamb
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • ½ cup finely chopped red or yellow onion
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 cups cooked grain of choice (Wheat Berries, Farro, or Rice)


  1. Prepare the beet relish by covering the quartered beets in a saucepan with enough water to cover them by 3 inches. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer until tender. About 20 minutes. Drain the beets and when cool enough to handle roughly chop them into small pieces. Add the beets to a bowl and toss with the vinegar, oil, garlic, scallions, parsley, salt and pepper.
  2. Meanwhile mix together the yogurt with the vinegar, garlic and a hefty pinch of salt and pepper and a sprinkle of crushed red pepper flakes. Set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to Preheat the oven to 350F.
  4. In a bowl combine the meat, egg, onion, garlic, parsley salt and pepper. Mix with your hands until everything is well combined. Form the meat into equal size meatballs (about 2 tablespoon size balls) Place on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the meatballs are browned on top and cooked through.
  5. Serve the meatballs with your cooked grain of choice and top with the beet relish and drizzle with the yogurt.


*Use this recipe as a guide and adjust measurements and ingredients as necessary

Leave a Reply

One thought on “Lamb Meatballs with Beet Relish & Yogurt

  1. Terri May says:

    Oh, I am looking forward to trying this recipe out! I need something new in my winter meal repertoire. Thanks again, Andrea!

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