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A flavorful meatball dish

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Chimichurri is lively, with loads of parsley and oregano; bracing, with garlic, crushed red pepper and red wine vinegar; and rich, from buttery olive oil — all attributes that do wonders for meatballs. Add a generous amount of the Argentine sauce to the ground beef mixture, then roll and sear the meatballs until crispy and browned. (You can also broil for 7 to 10 minutes.) Serve as an appetizer, with more chimichurri alongside for dipping, or make the meatballs into a meal with couscous, broccoli, roasted peppers or a kale salad dressed with the chimichurri.

Chimichurri Meatballs
Ingredients for the chimichurri sauce:
• 1 packed cup parsley leaves and tender stems
• 1/2 packed cup fresh oregano leaves
• 3 garlic cloves
• Salt
• 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
• 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, plus more as needed

Ingredients for the meatballs:
• 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
• 1 large egg
• Kosher salt (such as Diamond Crystal) or fine sea salt
• 1 pound ground beef (preferably 15% fat)
• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

Directions:
To make the chimichurri, on your cutting board or in a food processor, combine the parsley, oregano, garlic and a big pinch of salt. Chop or pulse until a coarse, juicy paste forms, then transfer to a medium bowl. Add the oil, vinegar, crushed red pepper and 1 tablespoon water; mix well. Season to taste with salt and more crushed red pepper to taste. (Sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.)

In a large bowl, stir the panko, egg, 1 teaspoon kosher salt (or 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt) with 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup chimichurri until the panko is wet and softened. Add the beef and use your hands to mix until combined.

Roll the mixture into 12 meatballs (3 tablespoons/2 ounces each) and chill for 5 to 10 minutes to firm slightly.

Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium. Add the meatballs and cook, turning occasionally, until browned and medium-rare, or to desired doneness, 7 to 10 minutes. Serve with remaining chimichurri spooned over top and alongside.

Total time: 35 minutes, serves 4.

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