Originally I found a recipe for gluten-free meatballs that used a yakitori technique of cooking part of the meat and then stirring it into the rest of the uncooked meat to then form balls. This was supposed to keep them light without the use of breadcrumbs. I have to say, my attempt at this failed miserably. And once again, I became convinced that meatballs just have to have breadcrumbs, no question. That tip goes in my top 10 list of things people should learn when entering the kitchen.
I tweaked the recipe a bit and I think this is a much more successful version and definitely worth a go. It’s that time of year when we can’t wait for the spring produce, but it’s not all in the market yet. This combines the brightness of spring from the lemons with the earthiness of kale, and it perfumes the kitchen while it braises.
Turkey Meatballs with Braised Tuscan Kale and Lemon
1 pound ground turkey
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons milk
2 shallots, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 scallions, chopped
2 tablespoons red pepper flakes
2 cups chicken stock
2 lemons, sliced thinly
1 bunch Tuscan kale, sliced into thin ribbons
Saute half the shallots with the garlic, scallions, and red pepper flakes until softened, about 2 minutes. Remove to a large bowl. In a small bowl, combine the milk and breadcrumbs and allow them to sit for a minute. Add to the large bowl along with the turkey meat and some salt and pepper. Combine and form small 1″ meatballs. Saute on all sides in a little olive oil until browned. Remove to a plate.
Add the remaining shallot and the lemon slices and allow to saute together for 4-5 minutes, until softened and browned. Return the meatballs to the pan along with the chicken stock and kale. Allow to simmer together for 10-15 minutes, until the meatballs are cooked through and the kale has wilted.