As my garden seedlings have started to sprout I’m beginning to dream of tomato caprese, fresh pesto, salads, and more. I seriously cannot wait. Come on sunshine, make my seedlings grow! I have planted kale, broccoli, brussel sprouts, okra, rutabaga, carrots, spinach, swiss chard, cucumbers, 5 varieties of squash, snap peas, radish, lots of different herbs, and an abundance of lettuce. Just waiting for the weather to warm up a bit to add in the tomatoes and a few other goodies. It’s going to be a delicious summer!!
So I sit and watch, both excited and impatient, as my garden starts to grow. In an attempt to hold me over I decided create a little store bought taste of what’s to come. We all know nothing beats a caprese made with fresh garden tomatoes, but this was still satisfying. Instead of letting the tomatoes be the highlight I added in zucchini ‘noodles’ and chimichurri meatballs. Just about anything tastes good with a nice bit of balsamic vinegar added and this did not disappoint!
Zucchini Caprese with Chimichurri Meatballs
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/4 cup chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano leaves
- 2 garlic cloves, minced/pressed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 teaspoon red wine vinegar
- 2 medium zucchini
- 10 oz baby tomatoes, I used san marzano, quartered or halved
- 8 oz fresh mozzarella cheese, chopped
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil (1 small packet from the store)
- 2-3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- Chimichurri meatballs: Preheat oven to 350. In a bowl combine the ground beef, parsley, oregano, garlic, 1 tablespoon olive oil and red wine vinegar. Season generously with s&p. Roll out into 15 meatballs and place in a glass 9x13 baking dish. Bake for 20 minutes.
- Meanwhile create zucchini noodles using a spiral tool. Place in a glass bowl, toss with 1 tablespoon olive oil and season generously with s&p. Mix and set aside.
- Prepare the rest of the ingredients.. tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
- When meatballs are done remove from oven and add them to the zucchini noodles. Toss, cover, and let sit for 10 minutes. This softens the zucchini a bit and lets the flavors meddle.
- Uncover and add in the tomatoes, mozzarella, basil, and balsamic vinegar. If desired add in another tablespoon of olive oil. Lastly season with a bit more s&p.