Two 1/3-inch-thick slices of firm white bread, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 scallions, thinly sliced
1/2 cup chopped basil
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for rubbing
1 pound ground beef chuck
2 tablespoons freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Four 1 1/2-inch cubes of fresh mozzarella
4 medium tomatoes, halved crosswise
- In a food processor, pulse the bread, scallions, basil and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil until the bread is coarsely chopped.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Add the ground chuck, grated cheese, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1/2 teaspoon of pepper and the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil and blend well. Shape the meat into four thick, 5-inch-long ovals. Make an indentation in the center of each meat loaf and tuck in a piece of mozzarella, then cover the cheese with the meat mixture to enclose it. Reshape the meat into ovals with slightly tapered ends.
- Light a grill. Rub the meat loaves with olive oil and grill over high heat, turning, until well browned all over and firm to the touch, about 8 minutes total; the loaves should still be slightly pink in the center.
- Rub the cut sides of the tomatoes with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the tomatoes, cut side down, until lightly charred, about 1 minute. Turn and grill until the tomato juices begin bubbling, about 1 minute longer. Serve the meat loaves right away, with the tomatoes.
The uncooked meat loaves can be refrigerated overnight. Bring to room temperature before grilling.
These fun meat loaves should be paired with an equally fun red wineswirling, sniffing and deep contemplation aren't the point here. Zinfandel is the classic example.