Live Real. Eat Real.

Farmer’s Market Meatloaf

I’ll be honest and tell you up front that I nicked this idea from my friend AndreaAnna (who is an excellent cook) at Life as a Plate – meatloaf made entirely with ingredients from the farmer’s market.  For her recipe, it was entirely true; in mine, it’s more the result of what was in our freezer, meat-wise, what was in my refrigerator from the grocery store as well as the farmers market and what the hell was I going to do with the 473 garlic scapes I received in our CSA box?

As for the garlic scapes, the answer to that questions is, “Put them in damn near everything I cook until they’re gone.”

Garlic scapes are the flower stems that garlic plants produce before the bulbs mature. They are often removed to encourage the plant’s growth into larger bulbs, and when harvested while they are young and tender, the scapes are delicious.  They have a much milder garlic flavor than the actual bulb that becomes quite mellow and a bit sweet when cooked.

At any rate, you can use anything you have lying around in your fridge if you think it will taste good in a meatloaf.  I’ll probably make this again this week – not only do 473 garlic scapes take a while to use up, but Beloved declared this the best meatloaf I’ve ever cooked.  Of course, he loves meatloaf and tends to say that every time I make it, no matter the variation.  But, hey!  I’ll take all the compliments I can get, so for now this is the best meatloaf I’ve ever cooked.

Farmer’s Market Meatloaf

Farmer’s Market Meatloaf

serves 6 to 8, or Beloved for dinner and lunch the next day

2 pounds ground chuck, preferably grass-fed
2 medium shallots, peeled
6 garlic scapes
1/2 large red bell pepper
8 baby carrots
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350º F.

Peel and quarter the shallots; quarter the bell pepper half as well. Toss all of the vegetables into the food processor and pulse until they are all finely chopped.

Combine all of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl; using your hands, mix well then transfer to a 9″ x 9″ baking dish and pat into a loaf shape.

Bake for 1 to 1 1/4 hours or until cooked through but still moist. Allow to sit for 5 minutes before slicing and serving.

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Be says:

Put it this way – I contend it is even better than the one wrapped in bacon!

Jan says:

As partial as I am to the bacon-wrapped meatloaf, I must agree this one was very, very good.

Be says:

I think it was the scapes that made it.

Jan says:

I agree with that, too. I’ll make it again, soon.

Mixing the veggies into the meatloaf=GOOD.

Jan says:

Yes, indeed – and it may even get the picky ones in the household to actually eat their vegetables.

Lisa says:

I am continually impressed with your CSA. I’ve never even SEEN a garlic scape. I wonder if garlic chives would work similarly? We have those in the Asian markets round here.

Jan says:

Although I’d heard of them, until this spring I’d never actually seen scapes either. Needless to say, I was thrilled with their inclusion in our box last week, until I realized that there were so many and I really had no idea what to do with them. Last night they were minced and tossed into a spinach/summer squash saute; tonight they’re going into the kale that also came with the CSA delivery.

And yes, I think garlic chives would work quite well in their place. (I don’t need an Asian market for those – they’re plotting, along with the Greek oregano, to take over my herb garden.)

AndreAnna says:

It’s amazing how many veggies you can get into a meatloaf!

Jan says:

LOL – yeah, it is!

Meatloaf … nom, nom, nom!

Jan says:

LOL – that’s how WE feel about it, too! Any kind of meatloaf is good meatloaf as far as we’re concerned.

Sean says:

I used to make a really spicy meatloaf, but that’s not possible these days with the kid. I’d baste it with a sort of ketchup red chilli sauce and mix plenty in also. But this looks like a great kid-friendly alternative.

Jan says:

I think it is a good, kid friendly alternative – it’d be a great way to get some vegetables in him. But you know, it’s funny – both my older kids would eat just about anything growing up except spicy foods. The Young One, though, is the pickiest of my 3 kids, but LOVES spicy. I couldn’t put enough red pepper flakes in this to suit him.

Maybe this will be the meatloaf my hubby will actually enjoy! Not that I’ve ever made him suffer by cooking any meatloaf at all, since I knew up front he has an aversion to it, but I like a good meatloaf, and this one sounds like one even he might enjoy! And that’s the first time I’ve heard of garlic scrapes – those sound right up my alley! 🙂

Jan says:

You should give this a try – and wrap it in bacon. I bet he’d eat it then! 😉

Patty says:

Haha! Even without the bacon, it was chosen as Recipe of the Day:

[…] and loving hands.  But it just ain’t happening all the time, is it?  Jan’s “Farmer’s Market Meatloaf” is a “picture-perfect” example of when paleo meets real life.  See, Jan was […]

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