In both Sephardi and Italian-Jewish cooking, there is a wealth of recipes for ground meat or poultry cooked with vegetables. Most familiar, of course, are meat-stuffed vegetables, baked or braised; meat is also mounded between sliced vegetables, then breaded and fried; or it is prepared as in this recipe, combined with chopped vegetables, formed into meatballs, fried, and then braised.
I’ve cooked these meatballs over braised celery root and carrots, a favorite Sephardi combination. If you can’t find celery root—or if the knotted bulbs appear too daunting—substitute fennel or celery, perhaps intensifying their flavors with
And instead of the green olives or roasted red peppers I’ve combined with the meat here, you can experiment with other cooked vegetables as well, like chopped spinach, fried eggplant, or braised fennel. Adding vegetables to the meatballs both flavors and lightens them, making this method a particularly good choice when you are using ground chicken or turkey.
© 2000 Jayne Cohen. All rights reserved.