Zucchini Caprese with Chimichurri Meatballs

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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

Zucchini Caprese with Chimichurri Meatballs

Ingredients

  • 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
  • s&p
  • 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
  • s&p

Instructions

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Prepare the rest of the ingredients.. tomatoes, mozzarella, and basil.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
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