Think meat balls but remove the meat and add Lentil to the word Balls. I played with this recipe for a while trying to see if I could get it to work with both flavour and consistency. I wanted it to work so I could enter it into The Canadian Lentils Recipe Revelations Challenge. See I’ve always loved lentils and used them from time to time in different dishes, but never on a regular basis. This challenge is reminding me I need to cook with them more often allowing the minions the chance to learn to love them. And the husband. This recipe is the perfect small bite (appetizer) for those who want a meatless meal. Or a main as it’s filling and tasty.
The hardest part about making these tasty bites is getting them to hold their shape while baking. Admittedly they do not stay crispy or round, but take on a flat side shape as they cook. The sides brown up quite nicely I might add and they are a delectable bite. Now I have to admit I took a couple and fried them in some canola oil in a pan. They soaked up some of the oil but became crispier. In the end I decided to stick with the oven method and make the balls smallish as they held together better. Pair them with your favourite marinara sauce for dipping or pair with whatever sauce tickles your fancy.
Serve them warm cause when you take a bite the melted cheese inside is simply delicious. In an additional experiment I decided to roll half of the Lentil Balls in store bought, seasoned bread crumbs. I almost liked the bread crumb version better as it adds a little extra crunch and texture.
In the end they taste good albeit square, round or heart shaped.
- 1 garlic bulb roasted
- 1 cup cubed sweet potato cooked and cooled
- 1/4 cup shallots minced
- 2 cups green lentils cooked
- 1/2 cup asiago cheese grated
- 1/3 cup parsley chopped
- 2 tbsp plain greek yogurt
- 1 tbsp sundried tomatoes in oil chopped
- 1 tsp 5 spice powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- salt and pepper
- 1 tsp sesame oil
- Cooking spray
- Seasoned breadcrumbs
- In a bowl squeeze your roasted garlic out of the bulb. Add sweet potatoes and mash with garlic.
- Drop in shallots, lentils, cheese, parsley, yogurt, sundried tomatoes, 5 spice powder, cumin, a pinch of salt and pepper and sesame oil.
- Stir to combine.
- Preheat oven to 425F.
- Roll mixture into small balls and set on parchment lined cooking sheet in rows of 3. Bake in oven for about 8-10 minutes and carefully turn. Bake another 6-10 minutes or until nicely browned.
- Remove from pan and serve hot with your favourite dipping sauce.