Lentil Appetizer Balls

It’s March, and we’re still longing for rain in Northern California.

The few days of rain so far this year have not put a sufficient dent in the drought.  Trees soaked up the water, but still the blooms continue like it’s Spring.

Global warming sure is a bummer!

pink floral tree
February blooms

Making Lentil Balls, however, is not!

Lentils are one of my very favorite legumes.

Lentils offer a host of healthy benefits. Red and French lentils have very similar health benefits. Both are protein-rich, plant-based foods and both are high in dietary fiber.

In the Middle East they are prepared in many ways, and are featured in a number of soups and stews.  A few popular dishes are:

  • Lentil Soup with Chard
  • Mjaddara, a Lentil/Rice Mash (a peasant dish)
  • Lentil Tabbouli, Lentils replace the bulghur wheat, and the dressing is abundant in cinnamon, allspice and black pepper.
  • Mtharthara, Lentil Pilaf with Crisp Sauteed Onions

Lentil Appetizer Balls

These lentil balls can be made with red or brown lentils.

  • 2 c. Lentils, rinsed and soaked overnight
  • 2 – 3 c. Water (see NOTE)
  • 3 organic Scallions, sliced fine.. tops included
  • 3 Tbs. organic Red Onion, chopped fine
  • 3 Tbs. organic Parsley, chopped fine
  • 1 organic Garlic clove, chopped fine
  • 1 Tbs. organic Lemon Juice
  • 1 Tbs. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 – 4 tsp. ground Cumin
  • 1 tsp. Sea Salt
  • 1 tsp. Black Pepper
  • Cilantro, Parsley or Fennel for decoration

NOTE: The only tricky part to this recipe, is not adding too much liquid to the lentils, since you want themlentils on the dry side so they hold their shape.

This batch was on the cusp of being too moist!  So add the liquid in small amounts, depending on how much the lentils absorb.

Soak lentils overnight in enough water to generously cover.

Before using, drain lentils and place in a medium pot along with 2 cups of water.  Bring to a boil.  Lower heat, cover and simmer for 15 – 20 minutes, or until lentils are done and not much water is left.  Turn off heat.

In a small saucepan, over medium low heat, saute scallion and onions (no oil) until they begin to brown.  Add parsley, garlic and rest of ingredients.

Stir for 5 minutes.  Add to lentils and stir well.  Taste and adjust seasoning.

Put mixture back on medium heat, stirring constantly, until thick.

Remove from heat and let cool.  Place in refrigerator for an hour or two, or overnight.

30 minutes prior to serving, roll lentil mash into balls 2 – 3″ wide, and place on platter.

You may decorate each one with a spring of Cilantro, Parsley or little piece of Fennel.

Lentil balls 1

~ Buon Apetito!


2 thoughts on “Lentil Appetizer Balls

  1. I love lentils, and this recipe sounds exceptionally yummy! I just happen to have all the ingredients – I can’t wait to try it.
    PS~ While you’re getting no rain, we’re expecting yet another foot of snow and ice Sunday and Monday!

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