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Author Notes: This vegetarian meatball recipe goes well with anything that you can pair meatballs with – tomato sauce, pesto or even on its own as finger food. The eggplant in the recipe acts as a binder replacing eggs in the traditional meatball recipe, and also gives a meaty flavor. This is a light and healthy recipe while the warm spices like cinnamon and cumin make the dish taste like a real hearty meatball dish.
I really hope you try out this recipe! Buon appetito! —Medha | Farm on Plate
Serves 20 golf size meatballs
- 2 cups cooked french lentils (1 cup dry lentils = 2 to 2-1/2 cups cooked)
- 4 medium eggplants (or 1 cup of cooked eggplant)
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1/2 cup walnuts crushed
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese / cottage cheese / paneer
- 1/2 cup fresh oregano leaves
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon powder
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon cumin powder
- 1 teaspoon chilli flakes
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Chop the eggplants in small pieces.
- Put a large pan on high heat, pour in 3 tbsp olive oil. Add eggplant pieces and season with sea salt and pepper.
- Cook for 5 - 8 minutes. Feel free to add a little more oil to the pan if pan is getting too dry. Cook until eggplants are golden on all sides. Let it cool down.
- In a food processor, pulverize the cooked lentils, eggplant mixture, garlic cloves, crushed walnuts, cheese, fresh oregano leaves, breadcrumbs, cinnamon powder, black pepper, cumin powder and salt.
- Roll the mixture in round balls between your palms. The balls should not fall apart. If the mixture is too sticky , you can add some more breadcrumbs. Put them in the fridge for 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 °F.
- Line meatballs on a baking sheet with parchment paper and back for 15 -20 minutes until golden brown. Alternatively you can also cook these meatballs in pan with a little olive oil until golden brown.
- These delicious meatballs can be eaten by themselves or pair with green pesto or tomato sauce.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe with Beans
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Hors d'Oeuvre