MEATBALL SALAD with Cucumber "Pasta"

August 10, 2010
4 Ratings
  • Serves 6 as a first course
Author Notes

This is a light meatball recipe. I used ground veal and added some white anchovies to give it a little tang (you barely notice the anchovies). I use my favorite anchovies, Dinon, which are sometimes called boquerones.The ones I usually buy are encased in hard plastic with a see through top, so you can see the white anchovies. I used my favorite gadget ...the julienne tool. You can also use a simple vegetable peeler and make wide strips. If you use cucumbers other than ones you have grown yourself, make sure that they don't have a wax coating. The long English cucumbers are usually covered in plastic wrap . Simple herbs...just some fresh thyme and a scatter of minced chives. I made cucumber "pasta" and a simple dressing. To be served cold or room temperature. *****This is a meatball recipe , so, it can be used in preparations other than my "pasta" with good results. —dymnyno

What You'll Need
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 2 ounces Dinon white anchovies, finely minced
  • 1 cup minced onions
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1 whole egg
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, minced
  • 1 large cucumber, julienned
  • 3 tablespoons cream, 1 tbs. lemon juice, 3 tbs, olive oil, 1 tbs minced thyme.
  • pinch of salt and pinch of garlic powder
  • olive oil
  1. Mix the veal, onions, cream, anchovies, egg, panko and thyme together.
  2. Form into round meatballs.
  3. Saute the meatballs in a little olive oil (enough so they don't stick). Set aside on paper towels. Or, you can bake them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes.
  4. Julienne the cucumber...stop at the seeds. Or, use a vegetable peeler and make wide strips of "pasta".
  5. Make the dressing. First, pour the cream into a bowl. Then add the lemon juice and whisk until it starts to thicken. Add the olive oil and the thyme and the pinch of salt and garlic powder and whisk.
  6. Add the dressing to the cucumber strands and toss.
  7. Plate the cucumber "pasta" and then put the meatballs on top. Sprinkle with chopped chives and a pinch of sea salt.

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • LeBec Fin
    LeBec Fin
  • boulangere
  • dymnyno
  • SallyCan
  • gingerroot

29 Reviews

LeBec F. February 25, 2012
p.s. what if you took the vitello tonnato riff one more step and pureed some italian tuna with your lemon sauce and thinned it a little more?!
LeBec F. February 25, 2012
dymn, you are one hot ticket. I lobe it when a creative chef like you- takes a familiar dish and tweaks it 180 degrees! your julienne tool is your mandoline, yes? really terrific photo of the cuke linguini.thnx so much for the inspiration!
boulangere May 1, 2011
I do this with zucchini and yellow squash all the time, but never thought of using cucumber. Brilliant!
boulangere February 24, 2012
I freaking love this.
dymnyno February 24, 2012
dymnyno August 14, 2010
I noticed that my zucchini and cucumber look alike. Your zucchini strips are gorgeous...they look like beautiful ribbons!
lapadia August 14, 2010
I love this newest picture you posted...I need to have some meatballs served this way!
dymnyno August 14, 2010
I just uploaded a pic of the meatballs with a wider cucumber "pasta" , so if you don't have a julienne tool and don't want to risk your fingers with a mandoline, you can use a peeler and make wide "pasta".
lapadia August 14, 2010
Excellent! They look like the Grilled Zuchinni Ribbons I have posted...only off the skewer!
Lizthechef August 14, 2010
Thanks - this I can manage - looks lovely!
SallyCan August 13, 2010
The cucumber, lemon, thyme, and cream sound really great with the veal~like a summer version of a winter stew. I'm curious about the white anchovies~are they less salty than regular anchovies? And are they in a can or a jar?
dymnyno August 13, 2010
Dinon white anchovies (available from Whole Foods) are not real salty like canned anchovies. The are like boquerones from Spain. They come in a plastic container. The anchovies are in a mixture of oil, vinegar and spices...delicious just by themselves and not as overpowering as "regular" anchovies.
SallyCan August 13, 2010
Thanks! I'll get some next time I'm out, so I can try them by themselves, and in your recipe : )
gingerroot August 12, 2010
Yum...veal and white anchovies - I know this must be delicious! I love the cucumber "pasta" too. I have had my eye on a julienne tool since your fantastic zuccaghetti, I may have to get one now!
AntoniaJames August 11, 2010
Mmm, yum, yum, yum! This looks soooo good. What a great, light take on meatballs. Brilliant. ;o)
dymnyno August 11, 2010
Thanks! AJ I brought home an artisan pork chop and I am making your recipe to top it tonight.
lapadia August 10, 2010
I love your "gadget", thanks for sharing another use for it!
TheWimpyVegetarian August 11, 2010
So do I!! Thanks, Mary, for another beautiful recipe (including the picture!) to use the gadget with! I don't eat veal, but I love your recipe but I thought of going with lamb (I know, I know. I eat a baby sheep, but not a baby cow. I do what I can :-)). How do you think the flavors, like the white anchovies, would go with lamb?
dymnyno August 11, 2010
ChezSuzanne I am not sure that lamb would work...it is very sweet compared to veal...I think that the lamb and the anchovies would compete too much.
TheWimpyVegetarian August 11, 2010
My instincts say you're right. I've not cooked a lot with anchovies and wasn't sure. Thanks for the quick response!
monkeymom August 10, 2010
I want this with zuccaghetti!
dymnyno August 11, 2010
Thanks, the julienned cucumber is really great with these meatballs.
dymnyno August 10, 2010
Thanks Liz!! Always can count on a positive comment from you...that's just the wonderful person that you are!
Lizthechef August 10, 2010
Does this mean we have an invite to a free meatball supper ?
dymnyno August 11, 2010
Just get up here!!!! I will make something other than veal.
Lizthechef August 10, 2010
Is it OK to say I haven't eaten veal for more than the average lifetime of most chefs here, but that I still admire your recipe? It looks simple and simply superb, your style written all over it. Brava and thumbs up. ps Got to try those white anchovies...
dymnyno August 10, 2010
Thanks...but that first pic was giving me a headache!
Sagegreen August 10, 2010
It is more like an impressionist painting this way. Sounds quite scrumptious, perfectly balanced.
dymnyno August 10, 2010
Sorry that my pic is out of focus (it makes me dizzy to look at it!)...I will add a better one tomorrow.