Pistachio and Pomegranate Lentil Balls

Written by Eydie Desser

A recipe for Pistachio and Pomegranate Lamb Balls with Pomegranate Molasses was all over the Internet one day. It looked intriguing so I had to plant base it! I replaced the Lamb with French green lentils and mushrooms, and several other healthy substitutions. This sweet and sour nutrient-packed veggie ball is quite unique and a great company dish!

Ingredients

For the Balls :

  • 1 small onion, peeled and cut into fourths
  • 3/4 cup pistachios, shelled
  • 1/4 cup ground oatmeal
  • 1 cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh tarragon
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 TB fresh lime juice
  • 1 TB ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes (less or more depending on how spicy you like it)
  • 1 tsp. Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup raw green or brown lentils, or 1-1/2 cup cooked
  • 1/2 cup (4 oz.) chopped baby bella or white mushrooms


Garnish :

  • micro basil, sprouts or mint and fresh pomegranate arils


For the Glaze :

  • 3/4 cup pomegranate molasses
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 tsp. red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/8 tsp. salt (optional)

Instructions

Make the Meatballs and Glaze :

1- Pulse all of the ingredients, except lentils and mushrooms and garnish, in a food processor, until you have a grainy paste.  

2- Transfer to a large mixing bowl and add the lentils and mushrooms.  

3- Lightly knead with your hands for a few minutes to combine.  

4- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.

5- Preheat the oven to 500°F.

6- Remove the paste from the refrigerator and shape into bite-sized balls, about 1-1/2 TB each. Place meatballs in a 12 x 14-inch baking dish and bake for 10 minutes.  

7- Remove from oven and set aside.

8- Make the glaze: in a mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients for the glaze. It will be quite sour but the sweetness of the honey will come through when baked again.

9- Reduce oven to 400°F.  

10- Glaze the meatballs with a pastry brush and bake for another 5 minutes to infuse them with the flavor of the pomegranate and honey.  

11- Adjust seasoning to taste, adding more honey if too sour and more pomegranate molasses if too sweet.  

12- Turn off heat and keep balls in the oven to stay warm.


To serve :

Place the meatballs with its sauce in a deep serving dish and garnish with the micro greens or mint, and pomegranate arils (seeds). Can be served on top of white or brown rice mixed with a tsp. of turmeric for a beautiful yellow hue and added nutrients.

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