My good friend Dalyn of The Best i Ever Had, sent this recipe to me the other day when we had zucchini overtaking the garden. A challenge came to life. I LOVE Italian. Garlic, basil…..olive oil and gooey cheese. Not only that, I watched a fantastic episode of Iron Chefs a few nights ago in which the secret ingredient was mozzarella. All the signs were pointing to a post about said ingredients. I give you Zucchini Meatballs. Adapted from Chef David Rocco.
Serves: 6 as main course
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 ish minutes
For the Meatballs:
8 cups chopped zucchini (about 1″ cubes)
1 1/2 cups Daiya Mozzarella
small bunch fresh mint leaves, finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
2 chia “eggs” **
1 cup (250 ml) kamut or spelt breadcrumbs
1 1/2 cups (375 ml) extra virgin olive oil, for frying
salt and pepper to taste
**4 tbsp chia mixed with 1 cup of warm water. Set aside for a few minutes until it is an egg-like consistency.
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
5-6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
14 fresh basil leaves, torn
salt to taste
olive oil for sauteing
Preheat the oven to 300F. Fill a dutch oven with salted water (about 8 cups) and bring to the boil. Add the chopped zucchini and boil for 4 minutes. The original recipe did not mention whether or not to peel the zucchini. I didn’t, but I probably would in the future for aesthetic purposes. Drain the zucchini and set aside to cool.
When the zucchini is cool enough to work with, you want to remove as much water from it as you can. I put the pieces in a clean tea towel and squeezed as much water out as I could. the zucchini will become almost half the volume as you started with. You’ll be astonished how much water will come out of it.
In a saute pan, cook the meatballs in about 1/2cm hot olive oil until golden on all sides. Transfer to a paper towel lined dish to absorb the excess oil, and then transfer to a cookie sheet. Repeat with all the meatballs (I’m assuming you don’t have a saute pan big enough to do all the “meat” balls at once. I did mine in about 3 batches.
When all the meatballs have been fried, put them in the oven for about 30 minutes to make sure they are nice and crispy and cooked all the way though. About 5 minutes before the meatballs come out of the oven, heat some olive oil in a saute pan, add the garlic, cherry tomatoes and basil and saute for about 1 minute, just until the basil has wilted slightly. Remove from heat and serve with the hot meatballs.