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Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Gremolata Meatballs Recipe

Coming back from Hawaii I was so glad to have made some meatballs and put them in the freezer. It was the perfect quick meal when the fridge was empty. Just boil up the pasta and go! They were even better the second time around. I have never made the same batch of meatballs twice. I mean, I change the recipe slightly every time. But right before I left on vacation I made a recipe I plan on keeping--Gremolata meatballs.

Gremolata as I have mentioned before, is made from parsley, garlic and lemon peel, and is traditionally used as a garnish. But I think it makes a terrific addition to recipes and am on a bit of a quest to see how many things I can successfully add it to.

The reason I think gremolata works so well in this recipe is not the parsley or the garlic, though both are delicious. I think it's all about the lemon. Bright lemon peel really perks up meatballs which can often be heavy tasting. Using only the peel with no pith assures no bitter edge. Lemon just elevates the meatballs to something not quite tangy, but fresh tasting.

Let me know if you have any ideas for using Gremolata. If it works well in meatballs I imagine it work well in meatloaf too. But how about on pasta or on roasted sweet potatoes? I'll keep you posted on my kitchen experiments...

Gremolata Meatballs
serves 5-6 people


2 cloves garlic, crushed
1/4 cup parsley, packed
1 T lemon rind, about 1/2 of a lemon
1/2 cup dry bread crumbs

1 1/4 lb pkg ground turkey
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste


Place first four ingredients in food processor and whirl until finely chopped. Mix with remaining ingredients in a bowl with your hands. Form into meatballs, about 16-18 total. Saute in a non-stick pan with in a tablespoon of olive oil. When browned on all sides, simmer in spaghetti sauce for 20 minutes. Serve over pasta.