Tonight we had my boyfriends family over for dinner. I thought it was time to try something different, something new. Date and chicken, parsnip and pear, beautifully complimenting flavours of sweet and savoury finished off perfectly with tangy goats cheese. Simple yet impressive. A meal to make again for sure.
Chicken, Date and Rosemary Meatballs on a Sweet Parsnip Purée
Adapted from Finger Fork Knife
For the Meatballs
500g organic, free range minced chicken
2 eschalots, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped1/4 cup rosemary leaves, roughly chopped
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup dried dates, finely chopped
1/4 cup cashews, roughly chopped
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
Salt and Pepper
For the Puree
1/2 head of cauliflower, chopped into small pieces
3 parsnips, peeled and diced
1 bosc pear, peeled and diced
3 tbsp crème fraiche
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp nutmeg
4 cups baby spinach, washed
Good quality goat’s cheese, to sprinkle
1. Fill a large pot with water, add the parsnip and the cauliflower. Bring to the boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 15 minutes, until the vegetables are soft. Drain and keep warm.
2. Meanwhile, heat the extra virgin olive oil in a pan over low heat, add the eschalots, garlic and rosemary and cook until soft – about 2 minutes. Add the cashews and continue cooking for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
3. In a large bowl, combine the chicken mince with the cooked onion and garlic mixture, dates, nutmeg, and a good pinch of sea salt. Mix using your hands until well combined. Roll into balls depending on the size you want but keep them on the small size to ensure even cooking
4. Heat some more olive oil in the pan over medium-high heat and add the chicken balls. Cook, turning occasionally until golden and cooked through – about 5-10 minutes.
5. Meanwhile. In a food processor, blend the pear until a fine puree. Add the parsnip, cauliflower, creme fraiche, nutmeg, salt and pepper to the food processor and blend again until smooth and silky.
6. While the meat balls are still cooking, wilt the spinach in a sauce pan over medium heat with a splash of water.
7. Once meatballs are done, to serve, spoon the puree into four bowls, top with the wilted spinach and then the chicken. Scatter the goat’s cheese. Eat immediately.