My own mother would never be caught dead serving meatloaf, for her it falls into the barfy-tuna-casserole-with-potato-sticks-on-top category, but I'm sure there are lots of people out there for whom meatloaf is a comfort food and reminds one of home. Or of some sort of Norman Rockwellian idyllic image and memory of home.
Not what I've got going on over here, but that's fine. However, I do make meatloaf and I'm proud of it. In the spirit of preparing healthy, satisfying and tasty meals that are EASY, I've developed this recipe over the years for Pesto Meatloaf. (I told you I use pesto for lots and lots of things).
Originally inspired by an herbed meatloaf recipe in The Silver Palate Cookbook, this one is now a staple in our house and pleases just about everyone. I recommend serving it with a spicy ketchup (mix ketchup with sweet chili sauce) or mustard, and a quinoa or lentil side dish.
Because the pesto is so moist, you will need to drain the loaf halfway through cooking. I generally just tilt it over the sink, let the extra liquid pour out and then return to the oven. I repeat the draining when it's done as well. The extra steps are worth it, because the pesto will add lots of flavor to the dish and will keep it moist. The extra moisture also allows you to use a 90% of 93% lean ground beef.
You can make this with any combination of ground meat. I usually use extra lean ground beef, ground turkey and ground pork, but ground chicken, lamb or buffalo work as well. I usually use a traditional basil pesto in this, but sometimes I use a sage pesto and it is equally good.
1 lb extra lean ground beef
1 lb ground turkey (white or dark meat)
1 lb ground pork
1/3 cup prepared pesto
3/4 cup bread crumbs
salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1. Mix meat and eggs together in a large bowl.
2. Add pesto, bread crumbs and salt and pepper to season. (not too much, because there is salt in the pesto already).
3. Mix well by hand and press into a standard loaf pan.
4. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour, 15 minutes or until done.
5. Garnish with fresh herbs.