California Walnut ‘Meatballs’ with Mediterranean Couscous & Parsley Dressing by Somi Igbene

Course dinner, Main Course
Keyword meatballs
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 767kcal


For the walnut ‘no meatballs’

  • 105 g California walnuts
  • 240 g cooked chickpeas
  • 50 g panko breadcrumbs or all-purpose flour
  • 13 g chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 egg or flax egg
  • 2 medium shallots finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • ½ teaspoon salt

For the couscous

  • 200 g couscous
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons pomegranate seeds
  • Fresh mint large handful, finely chopped
  • Salt to taste

For the parsley dressing

  • 50 g parsley roughly chopped
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large shallot roughly chopped
  • 1 fat garlic clove roughly chopped
  • 1 green chilli sliced
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • Salt to taste


California Walnut balls

  • Put all the ingredients for the meatballs into a food processor and pulse until the ingredients just combine. Don’t over-process or you’ll lose the texture of the walnuts.
  • Tip the mixture into a large bowl. Take around a tablespoon of the mix and roll between the palm of your hands to form a ball. If the mixture is too wet, add more breadcrumbs or flour. You should get approximately 20 large balls.
  • Refrigerate the balls for at least 30 minutes.
  • Heat the oven to 220C. Line a baking tray with parchment paper then arrange the balls on the tray and bake in the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown. Turn the balls halfway through cooking. Set aside and keep warm.


  • Put dry couscous in a large dish or bowl. Add olive oil and salt and mix well to combine. Add boiling water just to cover the top of the couscous. Cover with cling film and allow to rest for 10 minutes.
  • Add fresh mint and pomegranate seeds. Mix well to combine then set aside and keep warm.

Parsley dressing

  • Put all the ingredients for the dressing in a food processor. Pulse to combine then set aside.
  • To serve, put couscous on a plate. Top with walnut balls and parsley dressing. Garnish with a squeeze of lemon juice and black pepper if you desire. Enjoy!


Serving: 280g | Calories: 767kcal | Carbohydrates: 61g | Protein: 22g | Fat: 45g | Saturated Fat: 5.9g | Fibre: 14g | Sugar: 4.5g


Salt: 0.71g