As the Spring winds down and we get geared up for summer, I start getting craving for certain flavors that I associate with summer. The flavor of fresh herbs reminds me of summer.
A few months back, I made chimichurri for the first time. I absolutely loved it.
It’s bright. It’s fresh. It’s sharp. It’s one of those condiments that I just want to put on everything.
So y’all know me: I’m definitely going to try.
My first chimichurri had a basil base. This one has a parsley and cilantro one. I know some people have a real hate-hate relationship with cilantro, so I actually think that you can use whichever combination of those herbs that you want and it’ll still turn out fine. But I do have to insist on the herbs being fresh, especially since they’re going in both the chimichurri and the meat itself.
One of the things I like most about this is how easy it is to put together. I even feel fairly confident about putting it in the “You Can’t Mess This Up. No, Seriously” categories on the blog. If that and the yummy pictures doesn’t give you enough incentive to try this out, I don’t know what will.
The base for the chimichurri actually doubles as as a seasoning for the meatballs themselves, which means that you’re going to get double the chimichurri flavor in one bite. The herbs get blitzed together with some garlic in a blender, then half gets set aside, while half goes into the ground meat. (I’ve made this with both beef and turkey and it’s turned out great either way, so don’t worry about swapping out one for the other if you’re not a red meat person).
I prefer to bake my meatballs in the oven for a more even cook. To minimize the mess, I usually line a sheet pan with aluminum foil, then place a baking rack on top of that, sprayed with PAM. It makes for a pretty easy clean up. However, these can be cooked in a skillet. They probably won’t be as round by the end, but that definitely won’t affect the taste.
I actually made a double batch of the chimichurri sauce to have on the side with these. It’s just that good. The bright, fresh and zesty flavors lend themselves so well to the seasoning of the meat, and when it’s added as a condiment I wanted to have a bit of it with every bite. It tasted like summer and I couldn’t wait to share it here. Enjoy.
Recipe Adapted from Food Network Magazine
- 2 cups fresh parsley
- 2 cups fresh cilantro
- 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
- 1 pound ground beef (or turkey)
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs (preferably fresh)
- 1/4 cup milk
- 1 egg, beaten
- salt and pepper
- onion powder
- 1/3 cup olive or vegetable oil
- 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Puree the parsley and cilantro with the garlic cloves in a blender.
In a large bowl, combine half of the garlic-herb mix with the ground beef. Season generously with salt, pepper, and onion powder. Add the beaten egg. Add the breadcrumbs. (Try to stir with your hands as quickly as possible, the more you stir, the tougher the meatballs can be)
Shape into meatballs (about 2 tablespoonfuls each). Place 1 1/2 inches apart on a lightly greased rack on an aluminum foil-lined jelly-roll pan. Bake 15 to 20 minutes, until browned.
Pulse the remaining herb mix in a blender with the olive or vegetable oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper to taste, then serve with the meatballs.