Beef Meatballs with Kale and Radishes

The weather is getting chillier these days, the mornings foggier, and I’m layering again, Bay Area-style. In other words, the temperature has dropped below 75 degrees and I’m freezing. I’m also craving heartier food, like meatballs and leafy greens. I can turn on the oven in this weather too, which is perfect, because quite frankly, I’ve always kind of sucked at stovetop meatballs. But oven-baked? I’m a pro.

These oven-baked beef meatballs are among my favorites to prepare. No red sauce here: just the meatballs, sauteed kale and radishes, and a couple of secret ingredients: garam masala and miso. That’s right. You’d never guess it, but a dollop of salty-sweet white miso and a sprinkling of warm spices gives these meatballs an extra depth.

Cold weather isn’t so bad after all.

Beef meatballs with kale and radishes

Ingredients:

1 egg
4 garlic cloves, 2 finely grated, 2 thinly sliced
3 tablespoons white miso
3 tablespoons milk
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup Pecorino, finely grated
3 tablespoons panko breadcrumbs
1 pound ground beef
2 bunches Tuscan kale, ribs and stems removed, leaves torn
3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
8 radishes, trimmed, halved lengthwise
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 400F degrees. Whisk egg, grated garlic, miso, milk, garam masala, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Mix in Pecorino and panko. Add beef gently mix with your hands just until all ingredients are evenly incorporated (do not over-mix).

2. Working one at a time, scoop out 2 heaping tablespoons mealtball mixture and roll into balls between your palms. Place on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet, spacing 2 inches apart. Bake meatballs until lightly browned on top and cooked through, about 25 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add radishes and cook, tossing occasionally, until golden and crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Add kale and stir, until they wilt, about 5 minutes. Push kale and radishes to one side of skillet. Pour remaining 1 teaspoon oil on the empty side and add sliced garlic. As soon as garlic starts to sizzle, stir it into vegetables. Remove pan from heat and add lemon juice to mixture; season with salt. Toss well.

3. Tear meatballs in half and add to skillet. Toss everything together and serve warm.

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