Thursday, December 5, 2013

Stuffed Italian Meatball Salad

Now that the weather is turning colder in many parts of the world, a cold salad might be loosing some of it's appeal.  It's time for a few warming options, and these meatballs can really do the trick.  

It's sort of like those Italian meatball sandwiches you used to eat, but a lot better for you, and - to my mind - a lot tastier as well.  Of course if you really want a meatball sandwich, you can always make one using a Ciabatta roll.  Isn't it nice to have this option !?!

These meatballs are very quick and easy to make.  Served on a large salad of greens and vegetables drizzled with some vinaigrette, they are delicious hot or cold .... and when you bite into one you will get a tasty surprise.

Ingredients :
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 lb. ground pork (or use 2 lbs. of ground beef)
  • 1 tablespoon good Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced very fine
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
  • 1 fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into small cubes ( Buy the round kind.  Processed mozzarella won't hold up in this recipe.)

Directions :
  • Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl until thoroughly mixed.
  • Form into medium size meatballs.
  • Insert a cube of cheese into each meatball, then cover with meat.  Make sure the cheese is completely hidden.  If you don't do this the cheese will leak out into the pan and you will have a mess.
  • Fry the meatballs in olive oil until brown on all sides, then cover the pan, turn down the heat to low, and let cook for 10 to 15 minutes more.  This will ensure that the meat is thoroughly cooked. 

Serve immediately on salad, or freeze in individual servings for later use.  Cut the cheese cubes you have left over into even smaller pieces and use as a topping on your salads.

These meatballs make a great dinner as well, and if you made a double batch to stash in your freezer you will always have a great tasty meal ready to eat.  Here are just a few ways you can serve them :   
To reheat, thaw and heat in the microwave for 2 to 3 minutes. (All photos are by Katrin Morenz)

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