Thursday, 28 January 2016

Meatball Caesar

It was a hot and thundery night when I made this salad.  It followed a day of binge-watching the tennis.  I do it every year when the Australian Open is on.  I sit down to watch a couple of change-of-ends and by the time I turn around, I've consumed 5 sets.  Then I'm so invested, I keep watching until the end of the afternoon session.  That means dinner has to be cooked and eaten before the evening session begins, just so I don't miss a shot.  Tennis tragic? Game-Set-Match.

Meatball Caesar
adapted from here
Serves 4

For the Meatballs:
500g ground chicken
1 salad onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 egg
Tabasco, to taste
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (I use Japanese Worcestershire)
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan
2 tablespoons panko
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Dressing:
1 egg
1 garlic clove, chopped
Juice 1 lime
1 teaspoon American mustard
1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce (I use Japanese Worcestershire)
100ml extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Parmesan, some shaved, some finely grated for dressing the salad
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the Salad:
100g Kaiserfleisch, thinly sliced
A good-size chunk of sourdough, crust removed and torn into bite-size pieces
2 tablespoons olive oil
300g mixed salad leaves

Make the Meatballs:
Preheat the oven to 200C.  Line a baking tray with baking paper.  Set aside.

Put all the meatball ingredients into a large mixing bowl and mix thoroughly using your hands.  Roll the mixture into 20 balls.  Place the balls onto the prepared baking tray and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to firm up.

Make the Dressing:
Put all the dressing ingredients into a small food processor and blitz until smooth.  Set aside.

Make the Salad:
Line a baking tray with baking paper.  Lay the Kaiserfleisch on in in one layer.  Top with another sheet of baking paper, put another baking tray on top, sandwiching the bacon between the two trays and cook in the oven until crisp 10 - 15 minutes.  Remove from the tray and drain on kitchen paper.

Wipe the bottom tray with some kitchen paper and place the torn sourdough on it.  Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and bake in the oven until crisp and golden, about 7 - 10 minutes.  Set aside.

Take the meatballs out of the fridge, drizzle with the remaining olive oil and bake in the oven for  25 - 30 minutes,  until cooked and golden.  Set aside.

Put the salad greens into a large serving bowl.  Top with croutons, meatballs and bacon.  Drizzle with dressing, toss gently to coat everything in the dressing.  Sprinkle with shaved and grated Parmesan.


  1. Despite being a 'non-sporting family' Chris and I have turned into tennis tragics too (he used to play competitively in high school). I'm renaming this salad 'how to get Chris to eat salad' salad, because add meatballs and bacon and my ginger Roger Federer will eat anything :) Enjoy the match tonight!

  2. Raonic is going so great in Australia, we're so proud of him :) And this salad is totally perfect for that kind od time :)

  3. I think my husband would go absolutely nuts for this salad. Meatballs PLUS bacon? Definitely the way to convince a carnivore to ingest salad leaves. I love Amy's comment above, ha! Ginger Roger Federer. If I had to call a lookalike on my Aaron, it'd be the newly retired Lleyton Hewitt... not sure if he'd appreciate that! Great post as always :)

  4. Your photos are spectacular! I love the meatball against the black background, and the lonely egg.

    best... mae at