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Turkey Florentine Meatball Heroes with Tomato and Red Onion Salad


  • 1 box frozen spinach (10 ounces), defrosted in the microwave

  • 2 pounds ground turkey breast

  • 1 small onion, grated or finely chopped

  • 4 cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

  • 1 egg

  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs (a couple of generous handfuls)

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

  • 2 1/3 cups milk, divided

  • 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), divided

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 3 tablespoons butter

  • 2 rounded tablespoons flour

  • 1 cup chicken stock

  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (eyeball it)

  • 5 medium plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, lightly seeded, and thinly sliced

  • 1 small red onion, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced

  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley leaves (a couple of handfuls)

  • 4 hero rolls – crusty, submarine-shaped rolls

  • 2 cups shredded provolone cheese (1 10-ounce sack)


Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.

Wring defrosted spinach dry in a clean kitchen towel. Place the turkey in a bowl and make a well in the middle of it. Into the well, add the grated onion and garlic, egg, breadcrumbs, grated Parmigiano Reggiano, about 1/3 cup milk, spinach, salt and pepper. Form into 16 large balls and arrange on a nonstick cookie sheet. Drizzle the meatballs with EVOO, about 4 tablespoons, and roast for about 12-15 minutes, or until cooked through.

While meatballs are in the oven, heat a small saucepot over medium heat with 3 tablespoons butter. When butter is melted, whisk in the flour, cook for 1 minute, then whisk in the remaining 2 cups milk and 1 cup chicken stock. Bring liquid up to a boil and simmer until thickened. Season the sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then turn down to low.

Toss the tomatoes and red onion with the parsley, the remaining 3 tablespoons of EVOO and lots of salt and pepper.

Split the rolls in half lengthwise and scoop a little bit of the bread out so that there is more room for the meatballs and sauce. Transfer to a baking sheet and put in the oven, cut-side up, and toast until golden brown.

Place four balls on each toasted roll, then top with some of the white sauce and the provolone cheese. Place back in the oven or under the broiler to melt the cheese. Serve with the tomato and onion salad alongside. 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, go to