When life gives you…Herbs!

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Heirloom tomatoes

Our neighbors, in whose back yard we have our little veggie garden, have been in town for a while…and due to work, I have not. So I only got back into the garden this week to check on our little sproutlings. Only, they were sproutlings no more! We officially have cucumbers the size of my forearm, and Italian parsley keeping pace with our pepper plants.

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Cucumbers!

We now have baby jalapeno and black peppers, and our heirloom tomatoes (although still green) are now larger that the generics from the supermarket.

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Baby jalapeno peppers

So, what does one do when life brings basil plants taller than zucchini leaves?? Cook up a batch of herb-infused turkey meatballs of course πŸ™‚

One of my most favorite turkey meatball recipes I received from my fabulously talented sister and her boyfriend, who did a “meatball-off” one Sunday with their friends…and this gem was the winner. But then I saw a veal meatball recipe with the most curious ingredient – milk! I combined the two and the result was amazing:

3/4 cup whole milk

1/2 cup Italian breadcrumbs

1.5-2 lbs ground turkey (I used one of the containers from Costco, which doesn’t show weight…so I’m estimating here)

Freshly ground pink salt, to taste

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1/2 tsp paprika

1/4 tsp cayenne

1/2 cup chopped fresh herbs – I used basil (but of course!), Italian parsley, and sage…all from our little garden

1/2 cup chopped yellow onion

3 large garlic cloves, finely “minced” using a garlic press

2 large eggs (from our neighbors’ chickens)

Olive oil

I mixed all of the ingredients, except the olive oil, together in a large bowl using a wooden spoon. I covered the bottom of my large, cast-iron pan with olive oil and brought to medium heat. After shaping the mixture into ping-pong sized balls, I arranged them on the bottom of the pan (watch out for oil splatter!).

Tip – let the meatballs cook for a while on each side, otherwise they stick to the bottom. These meatballs are so amazingly moist, so feel free to brown on either side – they won’t dry out, and browning adds great flavor!

When cooked thoroughly, I set the meatballs on a plate covered in paper towels to absorb the excess oil. Because there are only two of us in the house (two humans that is), these lasted us several days. We mixed some with regular old jarred pasta sauce for dinner, and then we made a wrap with the meatballs, fresh mozzarella, and fresh diced heirloom tomatoes for lunch.

There is nothing quite like sitting in my office, pouring over dry contract documents, while munching on a wrap-sandwich that I made myself with ingredients from my own garden πŸ™‚

 

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