Jan 29, 2014

Italian Veggie Sliders

(adapted from The Meatball Shop cookbook by Daniel Holzman and Michael Chernow with Lauren Deen/Ballantine Books, 2011.)

Veggie Ball Ingredients:
· 1/4 cup olive oil
· 1 yellow cooking onion, finely chopped
· 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
· 2 celery stalks, peeled and finely chopped
· 1 garlic clove, minced
· 3 Tbs tomato paste
· 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, finely chopped in food processor
· 2 cups green lentils, cooked and cooled
· 3 eggs
· 1 cup parmesan cheese
· 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
· 1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced
· 1 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest
· 1 jar favorite marinara sauce

· 8 oz. fresh mozzarella, sliced
· 1/2 cup pesto
· 1/2 cup mayonnaise
· 1 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice

1. In a large sauté pan add olive oil and preheat over medium. Add onions, carrots, and celery and stir about 10 minutes until cooked through and slightly browned.
2. Add garlic and tomato paste and stir about 3 minutes until fragrant.
3. Add chopped mushrooms and cook for about 15 minutes or until their moisture is gone. Set aside vegetable and let cool completely.
4. Meanwhile, combine lentils, eggs, parmesan, breadcrumbs, parsley and lemon zest in a large bowl.
5. Once vegetables are cooled, add to lentil-egg mixture and combine completely. Put in refrigerator for 1/2 hour.
6. Preheat oven to 400°F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper and drizzle with olive oil.
7. Using a 1-1/2-inch cookie scoop, roll into balls and place on baking sheet ¼ inch apart from one another. Bake in oven for 30 minutes or until firm and slightly browned.
8. Make pesto aioli by combining pesto, mayonnaise and lemon juice together. Set aside.
9. Transfer to a slow cooker or chafing dish with marinara sauce to keep warm.
10. Serve veggie balls on mini rolls with slice of mozzarella and smear of pesto ailoi.

Makes about 24 balls.