Spiced Meatballs w/ Balsamic Fig Reduction

Happy Saturday! I had a great week in Stamford and am Back in Boston. I realized that I haven't been home for a full week since before Thanksgiving, so it is nice to be back. I have had quite the whirlwind with friends, family, holidays, vacation, and work trips, and now it is time to get back in the swing of things. I checked out the Cambridge Winter Farmers Market today with Chris which was awesome. It's closer than the one in Somerville and just as big. We made friends with some of the farmers and got great stuff. I bought a couple new things that I haven't tried (anyone tried kohlrabi before?), so I will be experimenting with some new recipes this week.

I am off to Bikram yoga for a 10-day trial at Bikram Yoga Boston. I have had some wonderful experiences with Bikram in the past, but I have also had a few nightmare classes. When I went in Naples with mom, I think she almost punched the teacher in the face at one point. Between the instructor, the damp smelly carpet, and the atmosphere, it wasn't pretty. Fingers crossed for this studio!

Today's recipe is a slight variation of an amazing recipe from Practical Paleo. You can check out information on the book here. I got the cookbook as a holiday gift from Evan & Catherine, and it is amazing. These meatballs smell great thanks to all of the spices, and the fig compote is absolutely delicious. I have never made a reduction before (seemed a little intimidating), but it was actually one of the more simple recipes to make. Try this out as an appetizer at your next dinner party to wow your guests!

Spiced Meatballs w/ Balsamic Fig Reduction

Serves 4, Prep time: 10 min, Cook time: 25 min


  • 1lb. ground lamb or grass-fed beef
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. dried minced onion
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp. allspice
  • Sea salt & pepper
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 6-8 dried figs, sliced (I used organic extra large Turkish figs)
  • 2 sprigs of fresh organic rosemary


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees
  2. Mix the meat and all spices together in a mixing bowl
  3. Form into 16 small meatballs, and lightly brown the edges in a pan over medium heat (about 15-30 seconds per side)
  4. Bake on a foil-lined sheet for 20-25 minutes until cooked through
  5. While baking, add vinegar, water, figs, and rosemary to your pan on the stove
  6. Simmer (I cooked on a level 3 of 10) for about 15 minutes or until the compote reduces. It will seem very watery at first, but over time, it will turn into a thick sweet compote.
  7. Serve the meatballs fresh out of the oven on top of the compote
P.S. I swear the meatballs weren't hot pink... the camera got crazy!

P.S. I swear the meatballs weren't hot pink... the camera got crazy!