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Ingredients Greek Meatballs:
- Require for For the meatballs.
- You need 1 pound of ground beef or pork, lamb, chicken, turkey (or combination of beef and pork).
- Provide 1/4 cup for plain breadcrumbs (paleo – omit, gluten free – use GF breadcrumbs).
- Give 1/4 cup finely chopped red onion.
- Need 2 cloves for garlic, minced.
- Require 1/4 cup – finely chopped Kalamata olives (I use and recommend Lindsay Naturals Kalamata Olives).
- Give 2 tablespoons – chopped fresh parsley.
- Need 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint.
- Provide 1 of large egg.
- Give 1 teaspoon for salt.
- Need 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
- Need 1 teaspoon – paprika.
- Provide 1/2 teaspoon – ground cinnamon.
- Provide 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg.
- You need 3/4 teaspoon of oregano.
- Prepare 3/4 teaspoon for thyme.
- Prepare of For the Roasted Vegetables:.
- Prepare 1 for medium eggplant (choose one that isn't too fat but more slender to avoid too many bitter seeds), peeled and diced into ¼ inch pieces.
- Prepare 5 cloves for garlic, peels left intact.
- Need 2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil.
- You need of SAUCE.
- Provide 1 of medium red onion, chopped.
- Give 2 tablespoons – extra virgin olive oil.
- Need 1 for small red bell pepper, seeded and diced.
- Give 1/2 cup for dry red wine (or use white if using chicken or turkey).
- Provide 1 (28 ounce) – can crushed tomatoes (I recommend certified San Marzano's from Italy).
- Need 1/3 cup for chopped sun-dried tomatoes in oil, drained.
- Require 1 teaspoon of salt.
- Give 1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper.
- Provide 1/2 teaspoon of thyme.
- Provide 1/2 teaspoon – oregano.
- Provide 1 cup whole Kalamata olives, drained (I use and recommend Lindsay Naturals Kalamata Olives).
- Provide 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley.
- You need 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh mint.
Greek Meatballs start cooking:
- First we’re going to get the eggplant going so that can roast while we’re working on the other stuff. Select an eggplant that is on the narrow side. Fat ones tend to have more seeds which results in a bitter flavor. The peel also tends to be bitter in flavor and tough in texture, so peel the eggplant completely. Dice it into chunks about 1/4 inch in size. You can make them larger if you prefer. Don’t worry about tossing them with lemon juice to prevent them from getting brown. They’re going to get very brown while roasting them anyway. First get the roasted eggplant and garlic going. Toss them with a little salt and the olive oil and spread them out single-layer on a lined cookie sheet. Roast for about 20 minutes or until nicely browned, turning once with a spatula after about 10 minutes. Remove Set aside. Once cool, peel and mince the roasted garlic..
- Combine all of the meatball ingredients in a large bowl. Use your hands or a food processor to incorporate the ingredients. Form the mixture into 1-inch balls (you can make them larger if you prefer)..
- Heat about 2 tablespoons of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and brown the meatballs on all sides (See NOTE for oven baking method). Transfer the meatballs to a plate and set aside..
- Add the red onions and the oil if more is needed and cook them until soft and caramelized, about 6-8 minutes. Add the red bell pepper and cook for another couple of minutes until softened. Add the wine and bring it to a rapid boil. Boil for 2 minutes..
- Add the roasted eggplant, roasted garlic and all of the sauce ingredients, except for the olives, parsley and mint, and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer uncovered for 10 minutes. Return the meatballs to the sauce, cover and simmer for another 15 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the whole Kalamata olives, cover and simmer for another 5 minutes then stir in the chopped parsley and mint..
- Garnish with some extra parsley and mint and serve with crusty bread, rice or orzo and a Greek or leafy green salad.
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