I find cooking for one to be a real challenge. For years, I didn’t even bother if I was going to be dining solo. During my dot com days, I ate a lot of take-out sushi since I figured I’d soon make a fortune on those stock options they offered us in lieu of 401k’s.
Then I was laid off and I ate a lot of bagels. (Lox spread if I had a promising interview.) When I was working 60 hours on a good week, cheese and crackers over the sink would suffice for a night alone. When the hours got cranked to 80, I drowned my stress in lots of Wondee Siam. And, of course, the perennial single girl meal for which I still hold a certain fondness…popcorn and red wine on the couch. Don’t lie and tell me you haven’t done that!
Thankfully, my life is now considerably more balanced, and I make time to cook, even if I’m just feeding little ol’ me. Still, I appreciate a meal with a minimum of pots and plates to clean, something that will stretch, but not so much that I get sick of it.
One of my go-to’s are these very addictive feta and flat-leaf parsley meatballs. I’ve made them alternately with ground lamb, veal, beef, and chicken and each is delicious. I bake the meatballs in a glass dish just until they turn lightly brown, no longer, so that they turn out moist and plump. My secret ingredient is celery salt. You don’t taste the flavor distinctly, but these aren’t nearly as savory without it.
Enjoy your meatballs over salad greens dressed with a little olive oil and lemon juice, or sauteed greens if you feel like messing up another pot. You can slice them and put them in a sandwich. Eat them with rice or a simple spaghetti al’ olio (olive oil and garlic). I recently made them for a picnic. Heck, give them to your dog for breakfast if you forget to pick up a new bag of food. (Sorry, Rocco.) The versatility is endless.
Feta and Parsley Meatballs
makes about 18 meatballs
- 1 pound ground lamb, veal, beef, or chicken (or combine your favorites)
- 1 cup breadcrumbs (homemade is always preferable but I’ll give my blessing to the canister of sand kind)
- 1/2 cup feta, cubed very small
- 1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 tablespoon celery salt
- 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
Preheat the oven to 350˚.
Mix all ingredients in a bowl until well-combined. Roll the meatballs in the palms of your hands to about 2 inches around.
Bake uncovered in a casserole dish for about 25 minutes, or until lightly browned. Serve hot, room temperature, or cold. No matter what, I guarantee they’ll be in heavy rotation.