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Grilled Meatball Sandwich with Roasted Tomatillo-Parsley Sauce

29 Apr

It has been relatively chilly for late April, especially following a week or two of eighty-degree weather in March.  Oh, the vagaries of Cleveland weather.  So when it warmed up into the low sixties with sunny skies the other day, I decided I wanted to do some BBQ.

This grilled meatball sandwich is absolutely delicious.  So much so that I didn’t even bother to repurpose the leftovers the next day – I simply warmed them up and ate the exact same thing again.  The rich, smokey, beefy flavor of the meatball is offset by the bright, tangy taste of the roasted-tomatillo parsley sauce.  Ensconced in some lightly grilled ciabatta, this makes for a real home run.  I love the crispy edges of the grilled meatballs, balanced nicely with the moist, creamy interior.

The sauce is also particularly lovely with either salmon or eggs, if you have a little bit leftover (which I did).  It’s also nice on a bit of toast, so make extra if you love bright, tangy tomatillos and the herbaceous flavor of parsley.

Grilled Meatball Sandwich with Roasted Tomatillo-Parsley Sauce

Grilled Meatballs:

1 lb. ground beef (I used local, grass-fed, free range)

1 large egg

1 slice whole wheat bread, pulsed in a food processor until coarse crumbs

2 slices whole wheat bread, soaked in 1/4 cup milk, squeezed dry, and torn into small pieces

2 tbs. dried parsley flakes

1 tbs. paprika

1 tbs. garlic powder

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, finely grated

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Nonstick cooking spray

Preheat your grill and spray your grill grate with nonstick cooking spray, spreading charcoal into a single layer (if using).

Using hands, mix together all ingredients thoroughly.  Form into balls about 1 1/2″ in diameter.  It will yield about a dozen meatballs.  Place on skewers.

Add skewers to the grill.  Grill about 8 minutes per side, being sure not to attempt to move them for at least a couple of minutes (otherwise, they will stick).

The internal temperature of the meatballs should be about 160º.  Remove the meatballs from the grill slightly before reaching that temperature (or desired temperature), because the meat will cook while it rests.

Let rest 2-3 minutes and then assemble sandwich (see below).

 Roasted Tomatillo-Parsley Sauce:

3 small tomatillos, husks removed and rinsed, halved

3-4 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled

2 cups fresh parsley

1/4 cup olive oil

2-3 tbs. red wine vinegar

Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

Add tomatillos, cut side down, to preheated grill.  Cook 8-10 minutes until very soft and charred.  Flip and cook another 5-7 minutes.

Add tomatillos, garlic, parsley, red wine vinegar, and salt and pepper to a food processor.  Pulse until all ingredients are finely chopped.  With food processor running, slowly add olive oil until well incorporated.

Assemble sandwich (see below).


Grilled Meatballs (see above)

Roasted Tomatillo-Parsley Sauce (see above)

2 rosemary ciabatta rolls (or store bought rolls of choice), toasted on grill if desired

Cut roll lengthwise, nearly in half.  Spread a few tablespoons of the roasted tomatillo parsley sauce on each half of the bread.  Add 2-3 meatballs and drizzle a tablespoon or two of sauce over top.  Serve immediately.

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