You Won’t Miss the Meat in These “Meatballs”

Vegetarian meatballs may sound a little crazy, but only because they are crazy good!


For the meatballs:
•    1/2 cup dried green lentils
•    5 ounces cremini (chestnut) mushrooms
•    2/3 cup drained sun-dried tomatoes
•    1/2 cup walnuts
•    1 teaspoon soy sauce
•    3 tablespoons olive oil
•    4 garlic cloves, chopped
•    1 onion, finely chopped
•    1 celery stalk, chopped
•    1 carrot, finely chopped
•    1 teaspoon Lebanese 7-Spice Seasoning
•    1 teaspoon dried oregano
•    2 tablespoons tomato paste
•    Parsley leaves, to garnish
•    Salt and pepper

For the sauce:
•    Extra virgin olive oil
•    2 garlic cloves, chopped
•    1 large onion, finely chopped
•    1/2 teaspoon cumin
•    1/2 teaspoon coriander
•    Pinch of chili flakes
•    6 tomatoes, chopped
•    1 cup vegetable broth (stock)
•    One 14-ounce can diced tomatoes
•    1 tablespoon tomato paste
•    Handful basil leaves, torn


Photo By: Liz and Max Haarala Hamilton

Middle Eastern cuisine is having a moment. All across the country, diners are flipping for falafel, searching menus for shawarma, and grabbing pita by the plate-ful. One particularly delicious benefit of this rise in fascination with the Fertile Crescent is the exploration of all the region has to offer, moving beyond the usual standbys into a broader investigation of flavors and techniques. Take this recipe from Salma Hage’s The Middle Eastern Vegetarian Cookbook, a nominee for the 2017 James Beard Book Award for Vegetable Cooking. Hage brings together humble lentils with a Lebanese spice blend and an umami-rich mushroom paste to evoke familiar flavors, while breaking out of the meatball mold by eschewing animal protein all together.

Read full article here.

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