Alright y’all… as promised, the delicious lentil clusters recipe. I made a version of these last year with a different recipe, and wasn’t that thrilled with the outcome. But a few weeks ago I tried an adaptation from one of my favorite blogs, sprouted kitchen. And let me tell you, they are addicting. Wonderfully fulfilling, but not heavy. And they have an amazing flavor that comes from the little pinch of fennel seed (i know its only a pinch, but you absolutely should not leave this out). And the best part is that these little guys are just as good left over (even cold right out of the fridge) as they are piping hot right out of the oven. So far our favorite way to serve them is on a nest of spaghetti squash topped with a little fresh marinara and a dollop of lemon pesto.
- 2 cups cooked lentils
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (or substitute with greek yogurt/low-fat cottage cheese)
- 1/4 cup fresh parmesan, grated
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 2 green onions, diced
- heaping handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- 1/2 tsp of fennel seed, crushed (do NOT leave this out, it makes a big flavor impact)
- 1 tsp thyme
- 1 tsp fresh lemon zest
- 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 2/3 cup gluten-free or panko bread crumbs
Pre-heat oven to 400. mix cooked lentils in food processor until you get a sort of lentil mush. If your lentils are recently cooked and you need to workout a little aggression, you can also mash them by hand with a fork. This method does take a little extra time. Place mashed lentils into a large bowl. Add the beaten eggs, ricotta cheese (or substitute), fennel seeds, thyme, pepper, garlic, green onion, parsley, lemon zest and the grated parmesan, mixing until combined. Incorporate bread crumbs until evenly distributed. I find you can form your lentil clusters right away or wait for 20 minutes if you like, either way works just fine. Form balls approximately 1 inch in diameter and place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. They won’t expand with cooking, so feel free to place them close together, but not touching. This mixture should make about 16-20 clusters. Bake for 10 minutes, flip and then bake for another 10 minutes. We like ours with a little extra crunch, so I place them under the broiler for about 2 minutes at the end. This has quickly become one of our favorite meals…it is unbelievably delicious, and even keeps my most carnivorous friends happy. bon appetit!