You heard it here first folks.
The tomato is about to be dethroned as the go-to fruit for your meatballs.
Enter the delicious cherry. Especially the incredibly convenient, de-pitted frozen cherry.
Which will take your humble meatball from it’s tomato-laden Italian roots, to a sweeter more exotic middle eastern affair. That also happens to be nightshade-free.
You’ll never use the words ‘meatball’ and ‘boring’ in the same sentence again.
- 450 g meatballs
- 2 handfuls frozen cherries
- 4 handfuls snow peas or sugar snaps
- greek yoghurt or feta to serve
- 1 small handful pistachios
- 1 small bunch parsley or mint
Crank your oven to 250C (480F).
Place meatballs, frozen cherries and snowpeas / sugar snaps on a rimmed baking tray. Pop in the oven and set your timer for 12 minutes.
When the timer goes, check to make sure the meatballs are cooked through - and give them longer if needed.
Serve meatballs and veg with yoghurt / feta, pistachios and mint / parsley sprinkled over.
Variations & Substitutions for Cherry Meatballs
home made meatballs – mix 1 teaspoon each ground cumin, coriander and smoked paprika with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 450g (1lb) ground (minced) meat and 100g (3.5oz) almond meal. Form into balls and use in the recipe above.
pantry – use frozen green beans, broccoli or peas instead of the sugar snaps.
different protein – chicken breast or thigh fillets (may need longer to cook), sausages, pork chops, pork fillet, salmon fillets, white fish fillets and see above for vegetarian ideas.
dairy-free – coconut or cashew yoghurt or replace with roast almonds.
more substantial (carb lovers) – serve with warm pita or rice.
more substantial (low carb) – more meat, more pistachios or add avocado.
different vegetables – cooked beets, zucchini, asparagus, eggplant, capsicum (bell peppers), fresh or frozen green beans, broccoli or peas. Or serve with baby spinach leaves or salad.
different herbs – basil, dill, coriander (cilantro).
different nuts – almonds, walnuts, macadamia, hazelnuts, pecans.
different dairy – goats cheese, creamy blue cheese, ricotta.
Waste Avoidance Strategy
meatballs – freeze them.
frozen cherries – will keep in the freezer for months.
snow peas or sugar snaps – you can freeze them.
yoghurt – usually has a shelf life of a month or so. Otherwise, have it for another meal like breakfast! Don’t freeze.
feta – keeps for months unopened in its packet. Or can be frozen..
pistachios – keep them in the pantry.
mint – best to use for another meal. leaves can be frozen but will wilt when defrosted so not ideal. Alternatively make a mint oil by packing washed and dried leaves in a clean dry glass jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil.
parsley – will keep in the fridge wrapped in a plastic bag for a few weeks. Can be frozen or make a parsley oil by packing the leaves into a clean jar and covering with extra virgin olive oil.
Problem Solving Guide
bland – more salt! Or add in a flavour bomb.
too dry – overcooked meatballs. Next time get it out earlier. For now a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil will help.
no oven – pan fry the meatballs, cherries and veg separately.
Yes! Just cook as per the recipe but keep the toppings separately. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for 1-2 weeks or can be frozen.