As we move into cooler temps, it’s nice to include a warming component to a salad, and this recipe is a perfect example of how salads can be classified as a ‘main meal’.
The winning ingredient in this salad is the addition of pistachio dukkah which is a fine mix of pistachio nuts, sesame seeds, cumin, coriander, oregano, thyme and salt. Egyptian in origin, dukkah is perfect to add to mashed potato, sprinkle on salads, roasted vegetables or in this case to minced chicken balls. You can find it already premixed in the spices section of the grocery aisles.
I use rice cakes in this recipe instead of breadcrumbs to make it gluten-free but feel free to revert back to breadcrumbs.
Roasted Chicken Dukkah Balls with Quinoa Salad
+ 500gm pumpkin, cubed
+ 1 cup diced cucumber, seeds removed
+ 4 large mushrooms, diced
+ 500gm kale leaves
+ 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
+ 500gm chicken mince
+ 1 cup processed rice cake
+ approx. 30 gm pistachio dukkah
+ Salt and pepper to taste
1 To make the meatballs combine the mince, dukkah and rice crumbs in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well. With wet hands roll into small balls (makes about 30) Lightly coat in dukkah and place on two well-oiled oven trays.
2 Toss the pumpkin in oil and place on an oven tray and cook in a moderate oven (160) for about 10 mins.
3 After 10 mins add the chicken balls and bake for a further 30 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through
4 Place the quinoa in a saucepan with about an equal amount of water and bring to a boil. Boil uncovered for about 12-15 minutes or until the little rings of Saturn begin to appear from the grain. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool.
5 Add the meatballs, kale, pumpkin, mushrooms, cucumber to a board and toss through. Serve as is.