Lamb Meatballs with Spinach Salad

Recipe from Apollonia Poilâne, Poilâne Bakery, Paris: Although she's known for making some of the world's best bread, Apollonia chose to demonstrate a savory use for this blend. After all, cocoa powder is a key ingredient in many Mexican dishes and French game dishes. The richness of the cocoa in my Apollonia N.29 spice blend is nicely balanced by the acidity of the orange blossom; it's a combination that also works surprisingly well with seafood. 


  • 1/4 cup olive oil 
  • 2 medium white onions, finely chopped (2 cups) 
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper 
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground lamb 
  • 2 large eggs, beaten 
  • 1 1/2 cups diced crustless sourdough bread 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped candied orange peel 
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped blanched almonds 
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon Apollonia N.29 spice blend, divided 
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil 
  • 1 tablespoon grapeseed oil 
  • 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar 
  • 8 ounces baby spinach leaves 


1. In a skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper and cook over medium-low heat until lightly browned, about 8 minutes. Transfer to a plate and let cool.

2. In a large bowl, combine the lamb with the eggs, bread, orange peel, almonds and 1 tablespoon of Apollonia spice blend; season with salt and pepper. Add the onions and mix well.

3. Roll the mixture into 1-inch balls (about 30 meatballs). Place the flour in a bowl. Roll each meatball in flour and pat off the excess flour.

4. Heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the meatballs and cook until browned all over and cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes.

5. While the meatballs cook, whisk together the grapeseed oil, vinegar and remaining teaspoon of Apollonia in a large bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the baby spinach and toss to coat. Serve the meatballs with the spinach salad. 

Main Dishesmeat
Makes 6 to 8 appetizer servings
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