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"Moneyballs" - Turkey Pesto Meatballs with Lemon Saffron Aioli

"Moneyballs" - Turkey Pesto Meatballs with Lemon Saffron Aioli


  • 1 cup basil leaves

  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves

  • 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, grated

  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts, toasted

  • 2 cloves garlic

  • 1/4-1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)

  • 1 1/4 pounds lean ground turkey

  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup breadcrumbs

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • Salt and ground black pepper

For the Lemon Saffron Aioli:

  • 2 organic egg yolks

  • A pinch of fine sea salt

  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

  • 1 cup grapeseed oil or other mild-flavored oil

  • A pinch of saffron

  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon


Pre-heat the oven to 375°F. In a food processor, mix up the basil, parsley, cheese, pine nuts and garlic with EVOO until pesto-like and set aside. Place the ground turkey, breadcrumbs, egg, pesto, salt and pepper in mixing bowl and combine thoroughly. Using a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon or mini ice cream scoop to portion the meat, roll it into balls and place onto a baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden brown and cooked through. Meanwhile, whisk up the egg yolks, salt and Dijon mustard and slowly stream in the grapeseed oil while you continue to whisk. Once the aioli emulsifies, you can start to go a bit faster; the aioli will come together in 4-5 minutes. Season with saffron and the lemon juice and zest. Serve the meatballs with the aioli alongside, for dipping. This is one of many "Yum-o!" recipes – it's good and good for you. To find out more about Yum-o!, Rachael's nonprofit organization, visit