Mediterranean meatballs and Greek lemon pilaf

April 19th 2013

My folks had a restaurant growing up and a large part of my youth was spent prepping food with my family and our employees (friends). I could make Greek lemon rice before I was able to write in cursive. So “pilafi” is something I can make blind folded with one hand tied behind my back, it also just happens to be fast and delicious, definitely my go to side dish. Pilafi is fast, affordable, and a total crowd pleaser. The “meatballs” I made are a new recipe I decided to try because I had a few things I needed to use up and they are about 50/50 meat and veg. This is what I had to work with: pita chips (crushed to replace bread crumbs), feta, 1lb Italian chicken sausage, sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, 1 can cannellini beans, frozen chopped broccoli rabe. I’m gonna be honest with you….the mix looked not so sexy….and honestly they aren’t beautiful…although I’ve never met a gorgeous meatball…I am a bit of presentation perfectionist, I was honestly not sure I even wanted to post the recipe because frankly they are homely….but sometimes it what’s inside that counts and these were filling and delicious.
• Preheated 375 degree oven, baking sheet
• 1lb ground meat (I used hot Italian chicken sausage)
• 2 eggs
• ¾ cup crushed pita chips
• 1 can cannellini beans, drained
• 2 tbsp tomato sauce
• ¼ cup chopped Kalamata olives
• ¼ cup crumbled feta
• 1 cup frozen chopped broccoli rabe (you can sub spinach)
• ¼ cup diced red onion
• ¼ chopped sundried tomato (not in oil)
• Chopped flat leaf parsley for garnish
• I used sausage which is pre-seasoned and the olive and cheese added plenty of salt so I wouldn’t recommend adding any additional seasoning…seriously.
Mix up all the ingredients till it look basically like carnage…haha….and form in golf ball sized meatballs. Put in oven cook 30 minutes or until brown.
While they bake make your rice:
• 1 cup long grain rice, rinsed
• 1 ¾ cup chicken broth, I used salted, if you use unsalted you will need to add salt.
• Juice of one lemon
• ¼ cup chopped onion
• 1 tsp butter
• 1 T olive oil
In a medium sauce pan over medium high heat, sauté onions in oil and butter till translucent. Turn heat to high, add chicken broth, when it’s at a boil, add rice and reduce heat to medium low, simmer 15 minutes, add lemon juice and turn off heat. Fluff with a fork before serving.

The sign at night at our restaurant on 33rd and Washington in Ogden, UT it is now a Mexican restaurant. The sign at night at our restaurant on 33rd and Washington in Ogden, UT it is now a Mexican restaurant.