Yes indeed, I'm thanking Gwyneth Paltrow for dinner last night. I subscribe to her blog GOOP, which "curates the best of lifestyle to help her readers save time, simplify, and feel inspired". Hmm... Let's just say, I occasionally find a recipe I want to make. My quest to back-off from baking desserts nearly every day in this new year (shall we take bets on how long this lasts?), has me sourcing recipes that focus on salads, ancient grains, and in this case... lentils.
When I actually sat down last night to my dinner of lentil "meatballs", I ate them on top of brown rice (orzo would also be nice accompaniment) with a very good drizzle of basil oil and alongside seared broccoli. Don't shy away from salting the "meatballs". They will definitely benefit from it.
• adapted recipe from GOOP •
• 2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes
• 1 small onion, finely chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
• pinch of each: dried fennel seed, dried thyme, dried rosemary
• 2 cups cooked lentils
• 3 tablespoons tomato paste
• 2 large eggs
• 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
• 1/2 cup Ricotta
• 1/4 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
• 1/2 cup packed basil leaves
• Olive oil
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground pepper
2. Drizzle olive oil into a skillet and over medium heat, add the onion. Sauté until softened; a minute or two. Add the garlic, fennel seed, thyme, and rosemary and sauté for another minute. Season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
3. In the bowl of a food processor, combine the lentils and tomato paste. Pulse until smooth. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the lentil mixture, panko, onion and herb mixture, Ricotta, and Parmesan. Season with salt and pepper and stir to combine. Add more panko breadcrumbs if mixture seems too wet. Form into small balls and place on a non-stick baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with a little more salt; place baking sheet in the center of the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, flip "meatballs" and bake an additional 5 minutes, until browned.
4. While the lentil "meatballs" are baking, make the basil oil. Using a mortar & pestle or a food processor, combine fresh basil and oil. Mash or pulse until a good drizzling consistency.
5. Serve the Lentil "Meatballs" alongside the cherry tomatoes and drizzled with basil oil, either alone or on top of rice or pasta.
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