Greek style meatballs with Pelargonium citronellum, spearmint & graviera cheese

These pungent & flavoursome meatballs filled with spearmint, pelargonium citronellum leaves and nutmeg make a delightful meal especially when added to tomato sauce and spaghetti.  The sweet spicy taste of peppermint, delicate lemony flavour of pelargonium citronellum scented leaves and the nutmeg, garlic & onions creates a tasty nourishing meal that enlivens the taste buds.

Ingredients
Half a kilo (17 oz) of minced meat
100g fine bread crumbs
2 grated onions
7-8 leaves of pelargonium citronellum, finely chopped
2 tsp crushed garlic cloves
Salt and pepper to taste
1 teaspoon of nutmeg
1 ½  tablespoons of fresh or dried Spearmint, finely chopped
50g of grated Graviera cheese or Swiss Grugere
A sprinkle of wine vinegar
2 table spoons olive oil
1 egg
A large Mixing bowl, refrigerate for about 2 hours

To prepare
First fry the onions and garlic for a few minutes or until softened then remove from heat & leave to cool.  In a prepared mixing bowl add the bread crumbs, spearmint, pelargonium leaves, nutmeg, vinegar, olive oil and then the fried onions and garlic and mix together.
Add the mincemeat and blend the ingredients together with your hands, add the egg and continue to mix, making sure all the mixture is blended well.
Make small meatballs by rolling a tiny portion on the palm of your hand or on a chopping board in a circular motion, then place them in  a container or wrapped in foil and place them in the refrigerator for about two hours
You can either dip them in egg and toasted breadcrumbs or in flour before frying in oil for about 15-20 minutes or until it has cooked all the way through.
Add them to Tomato sauce preferably containing mushrooms, garlic, onions, chicken stock, a little paprika and spaghetti.

Pelargonium crithmifolium

Pelargonium crithmifolium is growing well, it is a branching succulent pelargonium with thick fleshy stems green/yellow in colour and pinnately divided leaves into to small leaflets which have a ginger and nutmeg fragrance when crushed and white flowers. This plant was given the name Crithmifolium because the leaves look similar to the rock samphire crithmum maritimum an edible plant that grows in the wild on cliffs in coastal areas with fleshly aromatic leaves that is used in salads or pickled in vinegar.
P. crithmifolium is native to a large area from South western Namibia and the Western Cape Province.

Pelargonium capitatum

Pelargonium capitatum is an elegant rose scented plant with attractive light pink flowers and can look especially lovely in a large pot with the trailing branches. The leaves can be added to a sponge cake by place them upside down at the base and placing the mix on top or/and chopping up 3 leaves and adding them to the sponge mix which has a delicate rose taste.

 

Pelargonium trichome

magnification pelargonium glandular hairs

The scented fragrance that range from rose,mint,balsam, lemon,pineapple and other aromas obtained on the leaves of many species & hybrid pelargoniums are created inside the trichome, these are tiny fine hairs that cover the surface of the leaf and grow from cells on the epidermis. Trichome (meaning hair in Greek) is produced in order to protect itself against plant eating insects, the scented fragrance is created in a glandular ball at the end of each fine hair which helps to prevent insects from damaging or feeding off the leaves. Only glandular hairs produce a scent and the trichome’s on the leaves of the pelargonium species can vary in size and shape some are spherical, bulb or are diamond shaped at the tip.

Rose essential oils can be produced from the leaves of P. capitatum, P. radens and P. graveolens which are mostly used in perfume, skin care and also aromatherapy, it is also good for relaxing the muscles