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April 17, 2012

Recipe for Greek red pepper and feta turkey meatball salad

Greek-red-pepper-and-feta-turkey-meatball-salad

Spend a lifetime eating in tavernas in Greece, and you'll likely never see a salad quite like this on the menu. Crispy greens, dressed in a lemon thyme vinaigrette, and turkey meatballs filled with roasted red pepper and feta cheese, are Greek in spirit, if not by tradition. My herb garden, springing to life, provides a few tender leaves of lemon thyme for the salad dressing; later in the season, I'll use my own parsley and oregano, too. Swap linguine for the lettuce and use the same vinaigrette to dress the pasta, or serve the turkey meatballs on toothpicks, with chunks of tomato and olives, as an appetizer. Delicious hot or at room temperature, this salad will be perfect for a picnic.

Greek-red-pepper-and-feta-turkey-meatball-salad-plate

Greek red pepper and feta turkey meatball salad

From the pantry, you'll need: ground turkey, plain dry bread crumbs, egg, feta cheese, roasted red pepper, extra virgin olive oil.

Makes 36 small meatballs, serving 4-6. Salad serves 2; can be multiplied.

Ingredients

For the meatballs:
1 lb ground turkey (I use 93% fat free)
1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
1 large egg
1 Tbsp Greek seasoning (I use Greektown seasoning)
1/2 cup crumbled feta
2 Tbsp chopped roasted red pepper (store-bought is fine)
2 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp fresh black pepper

For the salad:
1 heart of romaine lettuce, thinly shredded
1-2 plum tomatoes, chopped
1/2 cup chopped seedless cucumber
12 black olives, halved
Lemon thyme vinaigrette or store-bought low-fat ranch dressing (optional)

Directions

Preheat oven to 425°F.

In a large mixing bowl, combine all of the meatball ingredients. Using your clean hands, bring everything together until the ingredients are well distributed.

To test for seasoning, heat a small nonstick frying pan over medium heat. Add 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and a spoonful of the meatball mixture. Flatten it a bit to make a small patty, and sauté for 2 minutes per side, until cooked through. Taste, and adjust the remaining turkey mixture if needed.

Form the meat mixture into small meatballs, approximately 1 inch in diameter, and place on a rimmed baking sheet lined with a Silpat (silicone mat) or parchment paper.

Bake at 425F for 18 minutes.

While the meatballs are baking, combine the remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Toss lightly with dressing (optional). Divide between two individual serving plates, and top each salad with 5-6 meatballs.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]


More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Greektown turkey meatballs
Turkey, cranberry and basil meatballs
Pasta salad with feta, basil, olives, fresh and slow-roasted tomatoes
Greek pasta salad with sun-dried tomato vinaigrette
Shrimp, lemon, herb and feta macaroni and cheese

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Roasted red pepper dip with feta and mint, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Blue chip frittata, from Gluten-free Goddess
Artichoke, roasted red pepper, and feta biscuits, from Two Peas & Their Pod
Roasted red pepper and feta hummus, from Gimme Some Oven
Olive Brussels sprouts with feta, roasted red peppers and bacon, from Sarah's Cucina Bella

Want more meatball recipes? Get Meatballs, my e-book packed with amazing, crowd-pleasing, family-friendly low-fat turkey meatball recipes with bold around-the-world flavors, plus full-color photos and a few fun videos. With the FREE Kindle Reading App, great meatballs will always be just one click away on any computer, tablet or smart phone. Click here to learn more.

Comments

What a salad! I know one or two men who would stop saying no to salads if they were all like this. Yum!

This looks yummy!

Ben, the salad alone might not doing it some folks, but with these flavorful meatballs, it's satisfying and filling. Hope you'll try it.

Jessica, yes it is!

Oh yes, I would love this for a meal. Love the sound of that meatball mixture!

Kalyn, I am definitely earning the title of Turkey Meatball Queen, but I love mixing assertive flavors with turkey, which doesn't have much flavor of its own. The feta and roasted red pepper work really well together.

I love meatballs period, but this is looking crazy good! Who cares how authentic it is? What a terrific idea for a salad.

Kellypea, that's exactly how I feel about it. The little bits of feta and red pepper in the meatballs make each bite a treat, and the Greek seasoning gives them a hint of lemon, too.

This recipe is very different from most meatballs that I have tried. I'm going to have to make these :)

So funny, I thought of making Greek meatballs this week, but never got around to it. Love the idea of it in a salad. I was going to make it as a tortilla wrap for the boys with lettuce, tomato, onion and tzatziki sauce.

Shannon, these are so flavorful, and turkey meatballs aren't always -- they can be a bit bland. Please try them!

Jeanette, make an extra wrap for me, please. We're cutting down on bread in my house, so almost everything goes into or onto a salad these days. A tortilla wrap, or a pita sandwich, would be great with these meatballs.

I LOVE meatballs in any flavor or shape! and I agree with Jeanette above these would be fantastic as a wrap...maybe you should start a food truck!

I made these meatballs and put them in a pita with lettuce, tomato, and tsatsiki sauce. SO GOOD! And my kids even ate them.

Carol, I'm laughing.....

Jen, that sounds perfect! Salad, pita, or even all by themselves on a fork, these meatballs are great. Thanks for stopping back to let us know they were a hit with your family.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my log house kitchen in rural northwest Rhode Island, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives.

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