makes about 2 dozen meatballs
- 2 cups dried, rinsed lentils
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tbsp high-heat oil – coconut/sunflower/safflower
- 2 celery stalks – chopped into 1/4-in pieces
- 1/2 large red onion – diced
- 3 garlic cloves – minced
- 1 Tbsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried ginger
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 cup canned tomatoes – I ran out of real ones!
- 2 large eggs
- 1 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
- 1 cup fresh parsley – chopped
Yum! They’re so simple to enjoy. Each morsel is just a few bites, but melt in your mouth like weak knees on Valentine’s Day. I said it. V-Day. When all the world is a-flutter with chocolatey truffles and snaps of heart candy, opt for a savory experience. Make your partner (or your lovely self) a filling, hearty meal – with Italian heritage to boot. (They say the Latin-language countries are most romantic.)
These are a delightful mix of savory flavor. The heavy thyme and garlic flavors are like eating your way through an Italian market. And though it’s vegetarian, my coworker exclaimed that they actually have a meaty taste to them. (I shared them at work the next day, and they were still pretty tender and juicy. They hold together well, too!)
Always curious to cook better, I’m in the middle of a great Skillshare class by The Meatball Shop. The teacher and head chef is hilarious and has an arsenal of good tips. Check it out for free, and anywhere with a solid internet connection.
This recipe is lightly adapted from The Meatball Shop – where I took out almost half the ingredients, to keep it simple for my first time. I truly enjoy ordering the vegetarian balls in their restaurant, where they serve different seasonal salads and sides every day. Check them out if you’re in the area!
Enjoy the process! This recipe was also posted on Fight Back Fridays.
1. First off, cook the lentils. Bring to boil the broth and bay leaf in a small pot over high heat, then add the beans. Bring to a simmer, then cook until tender, about 25 minutes. Drain remaining water, then set aside to cool.
2. Gently warm up the oil in a large skillet over medium heat, then toss in the onions, celery, thyme, oregano, ginger, and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, and stir often until the onions are light-brown. (Your kitchen should smell delicious by now.) Add in the tomatoes, reduce heat to medium-low, and stir occasionally for five more minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
3. Mix the lentils with your cooked vegetables in a large bowl. Stir in the eggs, bread crumbs, and parsley until evenly combined. Preheat oven to 400°F.
4. Pulse the mix gently in a food processor, in two batches. (Unless you have a huge processor, in which case I congratulate you!) This gives them a slightly “meatier” aesthetic, versus catching a glimpse of whole lentils.
5. In tablespoons, make 1 1/2-in spheres. Pack them tightly! Place them 1/4-in apart on an oiled baking sheet or oven-safe skillet. Roast lovin’ly for 30 minutes, or until browned and slightly crisp on the outside. Serve on a bed of crisp lettuce, and garnish with extra parsley! For parties, serve with toothpicks.