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