Margarita's International Recipes

Greek Jewish


Meatballs in Walnut Sauce


Sephardi Jews came to Greece from Spain in the fifteenth century, escaping persecution. They brought with them their cuisine with its strong Spanish/Moorish influences. Indeed, I made a similar, but more complicated, version of this dish at the beginning of my international foods adventure, when I cooked Andalusian food. This recipe was better.

Indeed, despite the simplicity of this recipe, it's quite wonderful. I enjoyed every bite. I followed the original recipe closely, though I substituted ground beef for ground veal, as we don't eat veal for ethical reasons.

My kids are not meat eaters so this recipe was enough for my husband and I with some leftovers, but you may want to double it if you have more people at the table.



  • 2 slices Italian bread
  • 1 lb ground beef or veal
  • 1 small onion, chopped or grated
  • 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp Italian parsley, chopped
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground pepper
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup shelled walnuts, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp bread crumbs
  • salt to taste

Directions Soak bread slices in water, remove and squeeze out the water. Tear apart. Mix bread, ground beef, onion, 1/4 cup parsley, egg, salt, pepper and allspice. Form into meatballs, about 1 1/2” wide.

In a wide pan, bring water and lemon juice to boil. Carefully add meatballs. Cover. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove meatballs and set aside.

Add enough water to reserved liquid to make one cup. Bring liquid to simmer over low heat. Add 2 Tbsp. parsley, walnuts, breadcrumbs and salt. Cook for five minutes. Add the meatballs and cook for an additional 5 minutes.

Adapted from a recipe in Copeland Marks’ Sephardic Cooking

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