A big bag of broccoli florets… I was thinking about what to make for dinner and knew I had to use the broccoli. As much as I love roasted broccoli with some olive oil and garlic, I didn’t however, just want a side of broccoli. I started thinking about what else I could do with it. Then it occurred to me I could probably use that same roasted veggie flavor I loved and just change the form! I didn’t know if it was going to work, but I was going to make broccoli “meatballs”.
First step is to preheat the oven to 375. I used to have a problem with the garlic getting too burnt when roasting veggies. It gave good flavor but you wouldn’t want to eat it and we love our garlic! I started to keep the cloves whole and put in a little bit of water on the stove for about 5 or ten minutes or so just to get the garlic a little heated and full of moisture. Then I use those cloves to toss in a big bowl with the broccoli, salt, pepper, and olive oil. Once coated, I put on a baking sheet.
I check and toss every 15 minutes or so. It starts to smell pretty good right away! You really want to cook these until they basically look overcooked. Then, let them sit. You don’t want to go any further until they are cooled down. The hard part is not to eat them all while they rest.
Then I just dump the broccoli and garlic (depending on how much you roasted with you might when to leave a couple cloves to the side if you really went overboard) in to a food processor and pulse until it breaks up but still has some noticeable pieces of broccoli. Now is when it starts to look like you are making meatballs.
Put in more salt and pepper, some breadcrumbs, grated cheese (I added more cheese after I took this picture obviously), milk, and an egg. If you feel like any other herbs go for it. Then get messy. Good news, is that it isn’t as cold as icy ground beef. You want to mix with your hands thoroughly and add breadcrumbs or an extra egg or more milk depending on your consistency. Remember, you need them to stick together.
Then portion out on to a baking sheet with parchment paper (I love parchment paper!). Cook for 10 minutes at 400. I then flip them over and bake for another 10 minutes because I feel like it holds them together a little bit better. I mean you are not going to have them simmer in the gravy, but they do stay together rather well.
We usually serve them like traditional meatballs but you could do whatever you’d like with them. They honestly are one of our favorite go-to dinners! And it all started because we had a bag of broccoli…