Lentil "Meat"balls with Lemon Pesto Sauce
- 2 Cups Cooked Lentils
- 2 Eggs, lightly beaten
- 3/4 Cup Ricotta
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Grated Parmesan Cheese
- 1 Large Clove Garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp. Fennel Seed, crushed
- 2 Tbsp. Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
- Hefty Pinch of Dried or Fresh Thyme
- 1 tsp. Each Sea Salt and Pepper
- 2/3 Cup Breadcrumbs (fresh or panko, preferably)
- Lemon Pesto Sauce
- 1 Clove Garlic
- 1/4 Cup Pinenuts
- Zest and Juice of one Meyer Lemon
- 1/2 tsp. Sea Salt
- 1 Cup Packed Basil Leaves
- 1/4 - 1/3 Cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 2 Tbsp. Grated Parmesan
- 2 Tbsp. Water to thin
In a food processor, pulverize the lentils into mush. Put them in a large mixing bowl.
Add the beaten eggs, ricotta, parmesan, garlic, fennel seed, parlsey, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to mix well. Stir in the breadcrumbs and let the mix sit for 20 minutes.
For the pesto sauce, put the garlic, nuts, lemon zest and juice and salt in a food processor or blender and run until smooth. Add in the basil leaves and olive oil until you get a smooth, sauce-like consistency. Add water, oil or lemon juice to thin as desired. Stir in the parmesan and set aside. The sauce will keep covered in the fridge for about a week.
Preheat the oven to 400'. Check the lentil mix by rolling a 1'' round ball between your palms, it should hold together fairly well. If it seems pretty wet and it falling apart, stir in another Tbsp. or two of breadcrumbs until the ball with stay together.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Roll the mix into balls and line them up on a baking sheet (they don't need lots of space between, they won't spread). If you like a bit more of a crust, brush them with olive oil.
Bake on the middle rack for 15-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown, gently turning the balls over halfway through baking. Remove to cool slightly.
Serve with your favorite noodles, on a bed of sauteed greens, or simply on their own with a nice drizzle of the pesto sauce.
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