Chicken Meatballs with All the Greens

IMG_20190626_194153751 (3)Though I won’t, I could easily turn this blog into one only about greens. It’s the category of vegetable I most crave when I want something healthy, and they can improve just about anything. I also happen to love stretching out meals that normally rely entirely on meat with a strategically added vegetable, and these meatballs can handle a surprising amount of greens. They are easy, flavorful, and adaptable, which are the three attributes most important to me in a recipe.  There are a lot of greens packed into these meatballs, which does make them more delicate, but since they are small and cooked quickly under the broiler you really don’t need to handle them much.

My share this week included lots of lettuce, perpetual spinach, yokatta na, Red Russian kale, French radishes, Hakurei turnips, pea greens, dill, parsley. I used some lettuce, and pickled radishes and turnips to go into tofu banh mi. Though beets aren’t around yet, this kale salad would be great with sliced turnips and/or radishes, and this kale salad is always a good idea (turnips/radishes could also be substituted for the broccoli stem). If the meat in this recipe turns you off, I’ve made and loved these Green Falafel Bowls.

Chicken Meatballs with All the Greens

28 meatballs, or 6-8 servings

Adapted from Molly Yeh

This recipe can go a lot of different directions. I changed up the spices to my liking, as can you, and see the inspiration recipe linked above for another take. These could also be made into burgers and grilled. Turkey, pork, or beef could all be substituted for chicken. I served them with the tahini sauce in the original recipe (which I didn’t love) and a salad alongside with lettuce, radishes, salad turnips, and parsley. These would go great with tzatziki or a similar yogurt sauce.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for the baking sheets
  • 1 medium onion, chopped (about 2 cups/8 ounces)
  • 10 ounces of finely chopped greens (I used a mix of perpetual spinach, yokatta na, and turnip greens)
  • 1 handful of parsley, chopped (½ cup)
  • ¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 3 cloves of garlic, grated
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1 ½ lbs ground chicken (preferably ground thigh meat if you can get/make it)
  • ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt

Heat a large skillet over medium high heat (it needs to be large enough to fit all the greens). Once hot add in the oil, then the onion. Saute for 5-10 minutes, until translucent and beginning to brown at the edges. Add in the greens, in a couple batches if necessary, and stir. Cook for 5 minutes, until the greens have wilted, and let them cool slightly.

Put all of the remaining ingredients in a large bowl, then add in the cooled onions and greens. Mix until just combined (use a light touch, otherwise you will have tough balls).

Coat 2 baking sheets with olive oil, then form the meat mixture into golf-ball sized meatballs (you should have about 28). Space them evenly on the baking sheets, then broil each sheet for 5-7 minutes, until they are nicely browned. Break one apart to check doneness, and pop them back in the oven if the meat in the middle isn’t opaque.

 

 

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