Friday, May 13, 2011

Meatballs Primavera

Want a fast, cheap, healthy spring meal?  My new invention, Meatballs Primavera, is your solution.

I buy lots of very inexpensive, grass-fed hamburger meat from a local butcher shop here in TN:  if you buy ten pounds, it's $2 a pound.  Can't beat that!  Probably couldn't even raise it myself for that.  But a girl gets tired of hamburgers all the time.  Meatballs, however, are another story.  They are infinitely variable in terms of what you put in the meatballs themselves, and what you put around them.  I do it slightly differently every day, but this spring I've developed this recipe called Meatballs Primavera.

Here's what you need:

Butter or olive oil
Hamburger or ground meat
Onion, sliced
green vegetables (in this case I used broccoli and collards from the garden)
Heavy cream
Lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop the herbs and mix them with the hamburger and season with a little salt and pepper.

Heat the butter in a large skillet or deep pot.  When the butter gets hot, brown the meatballs on both sides.  (My meatballs are kind of like small hamburgers, a bit flat rather than perfectly round.)

Push the meatballs to one side of the skillet and add the onion slices.  Turn down the heat.  Brown the onions slowly another four to eight minutes.  If you think the meatballs are getting too cooked, you can remove them with a slotted spoon and set aside for a while, but I usually just leave them.

Add the greens and broccoli.  Add a small amount of water--maybe 1/4 cup or less-- and put a lid on the skillet.  Steam the greens and everything together for about 8 minutes.

Remove the lid and add cream to taste.  Turn up the heat and simmer to reduce the liquid, for about two minutes.  Don't overcook the greens; they should remain bright green.

Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and nutmeg.