"When did rolling meatballs become a rule? It's a complete waste of time," Bittman says. "Shaping them is for show, not quality or flavor." Instead, he uses two spoons to roughly form the meat into rounds and cooks them as he goes.
Serves 4


  • 2 bunches Swiss chard (1 1/2 pounds)
  • 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley leaves
  • 1 large beaten egg
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 tsp. each smoked paprika
  • Salt
  • Ground black pepper


    Total time: 25 minutes
    In a large skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Add thinly sliced stems of Swiss chard and cook, stirring occasionally until they begin to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add chopped chard leaves in batches and season with salt and ground black pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until leaves wilt and stems are nearly tender, 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover.

    In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, combine chopped onion, garlic and parsley leaves; and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer to a large bowl and mix with ground beef, beaten egg, bread crumbs, and 1 tsp. each smoked paprika, salt, and ground black pepper.

    Wipe out skillet and heat 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil over medium-high heat. Using 2 spoons, scoop meat mixture into rounds, and drop them in the skillet as you go. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned and cooked through, 10 to 12 minutes. Serve over reserved chard.

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