1 heaping cup plain dry bread crumbs
1/2 cup grated Romi cheese
1/4 cup parsley flakes
2 tablespoons Whole Trilogy Health Seeds (chia, flax, hemp)
1/2 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon Hawaiian bamboo jade salt
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
2 eggs, beaten
1 pound ground beef
1/2 red onion, diced (about 1/2 cup)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Spray a loaf pan with olive oil.
Dice the red onion.
Grate the Romi cheese until you have about 1/2 cup. This is a very hard cheese, so watch your fingers. Measure the mascarpone cheese.
In a medium bowl, put 1 heaping cup plain dry bread crumbs, 1/2 cup grated Romi cheese, 1/4 cup parsley flakes, 2 tablespoons Whole Trilogy Health Seeds, 1/2 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary, 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper, and 1/2 teaspoon Hawaiian jade salt. Stir to combine the dry ingredients. Scoop small blobs of the mascarpone, drop them into the bowl, and roll them around a bit. A coating of bread crumbs will help prevent them from sticking.
In a small bowl, beat two eggs. Pour them into the bowl with the bread crumbs and stir until the bread crumbs dampen.
In a large bowl, put 1 pound ground beef, 1/2 cup diced red onion, and 1 tablespoon tomato paste. Scrape in the bread crumb mixture. Knead until combined. This will be a very chunky meatloaf dough, so don't try to make it all the way smooth. You just want it to stick together. If it's too wet, add more bread crumbs; if it's too dry, add another egg.
Form the meatloaf into a log shape and put it in the loaf pan. Bake at 350ºF for 45-60 minutes. When done, the top should be nicely browned, the juices should run clear, the meatloaf should not be pink inside. Rest briefly, then serve.
You can buy a can of plain dry bread crumbs, just make sure to avoid the seasoned kinds. You can also make your own by leaving bread out to dry, then running it through a food processor or crushing it with a rolling pin. Use fine crumbs for this recipe.
Romi is an Egyptian cheese made from water buffalo milk. It doesn't melt well, so you need to grate it and mix it with the dry ingredients, relying on a melty cheese for the blending factor. Romi is a very hard, sharp cheese with a funky, quirky flavor that is difficult to describe or match with complementary foods. Imagine if Parmesan quit art school because it was boring and ran off to live a wild Bohemian life. If you can't find Romi, you could try this with freshly grated Parmesan or another hard sharp cheese, but it won't pack quite the same punch. Don't try canned Parmesan, it's nowhere near strong enough. The flavor of the Romi comes through very strongly in this meatloaf.
Whole Trilogy Health Seeds combine chia, flax, and hemp. They are high in protein, fiber, and several important nutrients. If you can't find Whole Trilogy as a blend, you can make your own with equal amounts of its three components, in this case 2 teaspoons of each. You could also do it with 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds alone.
I only used hemp seeds in this recipe, which do not have psychotropic or entheogenic effects. If you wish to add other versions of the favorite hippie herb, be aware that different forms of cannabis have different flavors and effects in edibles. The leaf mostly adds a leafy green flavor with faint bitter and musky notes; it has weaker effects. The oil can have very strong bitter and burnt flavors, with stronger effects. Be aware of your local regulations, and don't ingest mind-altering substances (legal or illegal) before doing anything important.
Ordinary black pepper is fine, but you can use a fancier one if you want.
Hawaiian bamboo jade salt is pale green with a faint leafy flavor, and more trace nutrients than table salt. If you don't have any, you can substitute sea salt or table salt. Do not confuse with Korean purple bamboo salt.
Mascarpone is an Italian cream cheese curdled with acid rather than rennet. It is smooth and creamy with a sweet-tart flavor. In this recipe, it carries the flavor of the Romi without adding much of its own.
Red onion has anthocyanins which create the characteristic red-violet color, unlike most other alliums, and mesh well with darker types of meat and robust spices. If you can't find red onions, substitute yellow or white onions. If you dislike al dente onion in your meatloaf, you can brown it in a little olive oil before adding it to the ground meat, but that adds about 15-20 minutes to the prep time for the dish. A faster option is to use dried onion chips, which reconstitute in water after just a few minutes; the can will tell you how much to substitute.
This recipe makes a quirky meatloaf with a funky flavor and some leafy green notes. It tastes nothing like American meatloaf, so make sure you want a culinary adventure. If you like other hippie food, you'll probably love this; if not, this isn't the meatloaf you're looking for.