The summer salad train is still running. So, we are going to keep pumping them out. This Mediterranean salad with herb meatballs is on another level. It is not an appetizer type salad. No ma’am no ham. This salad is a full meal. From all the crisp veggies to the warm hearty meatballs, you’ve got yourself a complete meal. The best thing you’ve ever had in salad form.
Now, the herb meatballs are truly the star of the show here. These are no ordinary meatballs honey! They are perfectly juicy and tender and I am pretty in love with them. I know many people who have had meatball fails, and I’m no exception. But through those fails, I’ve learned a thing or two that will ensure your meatballs comeback out tender, juicy and flavor packed.
Common Meatball Mistakes:
- The number one mistake I’ve always made was over mixing the meat mixture. You can avoid this mistake by using a fork to gently toss the mixture together. I know a lot of people suggest you use your hands to mix the meat mixture. But, that can sometimes result in overmixing the mixture. Using a fork to gently toss the mixture will keep it aerated and light. Once you see the ingredients are combined, stop mixing.
- Number two is very important: don’t complicate the mixture. If you have more than 10 main ingredients in a meatball recipe, you are doing too much. My motto is this: you need meat(s), bonding agents (egg, breadcrumbs, almond flour), alliums (onions, garlic, leeks, kale, shallots), and seasoning. These are the basics you need for making delicious, tender and juicy meatballs. Of course, those ingredients will vary depending on the flavor profile you are going for. But you don’t need to complicate things putting a bunch of ingredients together that just take away from the flavor of the meat.
- And last but not least, Not measuring your meatballs before rolling them up. This one may seem silly, but it’s key to making sure your meatballs cook evenly. If you have meatballs that are all different sizes, they will require separate cooking times. So, to ensure all your meatballs cook evenly, I recommend measuring them out with a cookie scoop and hem rolling them into balls.
MEDITERRANEAN SALAD WITH HERB MEATBALLS
WHOLE30 II PALEO
Serve this Mediterranean Salad with Herb Meatballs with our Tahini Dressing.Print
A delicious salad with Mediterranean flavors finished with classic meatballs packed with herbs such as rosemary, fennel seeds, and fresh cilantro leaves.
FOR THE MEATBALLS:
- 1/2 lb grass-fed ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1/4 cup almond flour
- 2 garlic cloves (finely minced)
- 1 shallot (finely chopped)
- 1 tbsp freshly chopped rosemary
- 1/2 tsp ground fennel seeds*
- 2 tbsp. freshly chopped cilantro leaves
- 1 egg
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. cracked black pepper
FOR THE SALAD:
- 1/2 bunch bokchoy (chopped)
- 1 head romaine lettuce (chopped)
- 1 cucumber (1/2 diced and 1/2 sliced)
- 1/2 cup green pitted olives (halved)
- 1/2 cup grilled artichokes in olive oil (halved)
- 1 large carrot (shaved)
- 1/2 red onion (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 a lemon (juiced)
- avocado oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 avocado (diced)
- To begin, preheat oven to 375˚F.
- Add all the ingredients needed for the meatballs into a large mixing bowl. Use a fork to gently stir the mixture until its well combined (do not overmix). Measure out each meatball using a cookie scoop. Roll into balls and transfer to a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake the meatballs for 25-30 minutes until meatballs are cooked through and browned on top.
- While the meatballs cook, add the bokchoy, romaine lettuce, diced cucumber, olives, artichokes, carrots, and red onion to a mixing bowl. Toss all the veggies with the lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of avocado oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and transfer to a serving dish. Finish with avocado, sliced cucumbers, and meatballs.
- Serve with Tahini Dressing.
- Use a mortar and pestle to grind the fennel seeds. They won’t grind into a powder consistency. This process is to simply release the flavors of the fennel seeds.
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