I had a couple of reasons for doing this recipe. First off, 4th of July is next weekend so I always like to do some seasonal bbq food around this time. Secondly, and probably more importantly, I had this ginormous zucchini (courgette) growing in my garden that I needed to do something with before some little people decided to move into it. I’ll be honest I did think about letting it grow so I could enter it in the local county fair’s massive over-sized vegetable for no apparent reason competition, but since my missus put the kibosh on that instead I did something novel and cooked it. Strange concept that.
I had decided to cook the meatballs anyway and instead of just showcasing them on a platter I figured I’d use my foot long zucchini as an edible serving dish. Genius I hear you say, why thank you very much. I tink so!
1 lb ground organic turkey
1 lb ground organic chicken
1 white onion – small dice
2 garlic cloves – minced
1 tbsp dried thyme
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried chili flakes
1/2 tbsp salt
1 tbsp lemon pepper
1/4 cup Dijon mustard
1 organic egg
3 tbsp olive oil
1 x 28oz can organic chopped tomatoes
1 bouquet garni (thyme, parley, sage)
1 lemon – zested
3 cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
drizzle olive oil
Fresh basil, chiffonade
Preheat oven 350°F.
Preheat saute pan on medium-low heat for 30 seconds. Add 2 tbsp olive oil and saute onions for 1 minute, stirring. Add minced garlic and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Do not colour. Add all remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl including cooked onions and, with clean hands, mix thoroughly.
To test flavour, cook a small mini meatball in the saute pan and taste. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Heat same skillet as above for 1 minute then add another tbsp olive oil. Roll meatballs into golf ball size (see tip below) and in batches sear on all sides ’til golden brown. Don’t over fill the pan as you’ll end up reducing the heat too much and stewing the meatballs instead of browning them. Once the balls are all seared place them in an oven proof dish large enough to hold them along with the sauce.
Add tomatoes, bouquet garni, zest and broth.
Cover pan with foil. Pop in oven for 1 1/2 hours.
Carve out some regular sized zucchinis. To do this, slice a third off the top and with a teaspoon, gently scoop out the inside leaving a layer around the bottom skin so it stays in tact after roasting. Once hollowed drizzle olive oil and season the inside. These take no time at all to roast so you can do these right after the meatballs are done. Pop in the oven on a foiled tray & roast on 350°F for 6-7 minutes, until tender but not over-cooked. Fill with some lil’ meatballs and sauce. Something even the kids will tuck into!
TIP: Make smaller sized meatballs or cut half/thirds if using the individual zucchini idea for you next buffet.
If by chance, you happen to have a monsterous zucchini hanging out in your garden, you’ll want to roast it for longer, say for a good 20-25 minutes. Enjoy!
All recipes are made with the finest quality farmers’ market whole foods, natural and non-processed ingredients as much as possible.