Pistachio and Pomegranate Meatballs (Kufteh-Ye Pesteh-o Anar)


1 large onion, peeled and quartered
1 ½ cups (180g) raw pistachio kernels
½ cup (15g) fresh plain bread crumbs
3 cups (250g) chopped fresh parsley
1 cup (85g) chopped fresh tarragon, or 2 tablespoons dried
1 cup (85g) chopped fresh cilantro
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons fine sea salt
2 lb (900g) ground dark meat turkey
1 egg
½ cup olive oil, for brushing meatballs
¾ cup (180ml) pomegranate molasses
¼ (60ml) cup grape molasses
¼ cup (60ml) pomegranate juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
For serving:
1 cup (150g) pomegranate seeds (arils)
Lavash, lettuce, and fresh basil for serving (optional)

To make the meatballs: Place all the ingredients, except the ground turkey and egg, in a food processor and pulse until you have a grainy paste. Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the turkey and egg. Lightly knead with your hands for a few minutes (do not over-mix). Cover and chill in the fridge for at least 10 minutes or up to 24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 450°F (230°C). Generously oil a wide, non-reactive baking dish, large enough to fit 24 meatballs, (about 12 x 14 in/30 x 35 cm) and set aside.
Remove the turkey mixture from the fridge and shape into walnut-sized balls (about 1 1/2 tablespoons each, using an ice-cream scoop). Place the meatballs in the baking dish and brush well with oil. Bake in the oven for 15 minutes, until bottoms of the meatballs are lightly golden.
Meanwhile, in another mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the glaze.
Spoon the glaze over the meatballs and bake for another 5 minutes to infuse them with the flavor of pomegranate.
Garnish with the pomegranate arils and serve warm with the sauce. These meatballs are perfect for wrapping with sprigs of fresh basil in lavash bread or green lettuce.