Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Lentil Veggieballs with Lemon Pesto Dipping Sauce

A couple weekends ago my girls and I stayed with my high school aged sister for an extended weekend while my parents were out of town.  While discussing what to make while I was there I happened to come across these lentil "veggieballs" and decided to ask my sister if she even liked lentils.  When she replied whole-heartedly that she loved them I knew I would be in good company if I made these, so on the menu they went!

 I'm so glad we decided to try them, they were delicious.  And the lemon pesto...wow!  Lick the plate good.  Such a great condiment for the lentils.  These veggieballs are great served warm, along side a nice dinner salad.

Lentil Veggieballs in Lemon Pesto
For the veggieballs:
2 cups cooked lentils, cooled
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 large carrot, diced
1/2 onion, diced
3/4 cup Ricotta cheese
1/4 cup fresh grated parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. fennel seed, crushed
2 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh parsley
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. pepper
2/3 cup breadcrumbs

for the lemon pesto sauce:
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup pinenuts
zest and juice of one lemon
1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
1 cup packed basil leaves
1/4 - 1/3 cup olive oil
2 Tbsp. grated parmesan
2 Tbsp. water to thin

Wash 1 cup dried lentils then place them in a saucepan with 2 cups water and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat, cover and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes, until tender.

In the meantime, prepare the pesto by combining pesto ingredients in a food processor with a chopper blade.  Process untiil smooth, adding oil or water as necessary to desired consistency.  Scoop out into a containter with a tight fitting lid and set aside.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a medium-sized frying pan.  Add onions and carrots and saute over medium heat until tender. Remove from heat and allow to cool. 

Once lentils, onions and carrots have cooled, place them in a food processor with a chopper blade and process until smooth and well combined.  Remove to a mixing bowl and add the rest of the ingredients.  Stir until well combined.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.  Make balls by using a small scoop to scoop out lentil mixture.  Place closely together on a baking sheet.  Brush with a little olive oil then place them in the oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes, or until slightly golden.  You can turn them half way so both sides are a littl golden, but I didn't.

Serve warm with lemon pesto.

SOURCE: Slightly adapted from Sprouted Kitchen

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