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Nov 2, 2010 07:13 PM

Lentil mushroom "meatballs" recipe? Help!

I recently dined at a small restaurant in DC that served delicious lentil mushroom meatballs. I would love to recreate the dish at home, but haven't been able to find a recipe that seems close to what I ate. Anyone out there have a wonderful recipe or idea to share? Thanks!

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  1. assuming it was a vegetarian or vegan dish, my best guess is that they were a meatball version of a lentil-mushroom burger or pate. unfortunately, there are a zillion variations, so i'd need more details about some of the other ingredients or flavors in them to help you try to recreate the dish or come up with a close approximation.

    were there any particular herbs or spices that stood out to you? do you know if they contained some sort of grain-based binder like rice or flour...or perhaps eggs or cheese?

    7 Replies
    1. re: goodhealthgourmet

      I've made veggie burger patties like this using black beans or garbanzo beans... lentils may be a little mushier... What kind of mushrooms were used?

      1. re: goodhealthgourmet

        When I am making beef and/or sausage meatballs, if I have cooked lentils on hand, I add a cup or so - to about 16-24 ounces of meat. Even if pureed, they loosen the mixture considerably, so I add an extra egg and less milk. My meatball mix has bread, onion,coleslaw, tomato paste, and sometimes mushrooms and other shredded vegetables. I don't think I'd want to try making lentil meatballs without egg to hold them together. Patties or cylindrical croquettes would stay intact better than spheres, if you want a vegan dish.

        1. re: greygarious

          The meatballs were vegetarian and not vegan, so it sounds like there may have been egg or (mild) cheese in them. The restaurant has a kind of Scandinavian bent and the meatballs were served with creamy mashed potatoes and ligonberries, so they weren't spicy or tomato-y. I wish I had asked what kind of mushrooms or spices were used, but I didn't.

          Thanks for your help!

          1. re: apezalla

            I suspect that, because of the likely loose texture, egg had been used to bind them. I'd assume any sort of mushroom is going to work, so I'd use the most flavoursome I could get my hands on. Herbs & spices can obviously be pretty much your own choice - did anything stand out whne you ate them?

            Like most of us who live in Northern Europe, the Scandanavians have a long tradition of importing spices from hotter countries but a number of herbs, like thyme, grow well and can be considered to be "local", so might work for you.

            1. re: apezalla

              if egg was the binder, this might be a good starting point for you:

              but there's also a chance it was ricotta, in which case you might want to try something like this:

              whichever way you go, you can play with the spices until they suit your tastes. if you want to keep the Scandinavian flavor, sort of along the lines of traditional Swedish meatballs, try adding some caraway seed.

              1. re: goodhealthgourmet

                I tried this recipe (substituting fresh thyme & a little parsley for the herbs) :
                The mixture was very water-y and didn't stick well. (I added some breadcrumbs which didn't seem to make much of a difference.) But I baked them in a tiny muffin pan, and it really helped them to hold an almost-ball shape.

                I served them with mashed potatoes, mushroom gravy, cranberry sauce and brussel sprouts. It didn't taste exactly like the meal I was trying to replicate, but it was delicious and I'll definitely try it again.

                Thanks to all for the help!

                1. re: apezalla

                  i'm sorry it wasn't a total success - that's why i hate suggesting recipes that i haven't made myself!

                  next time, try adding grated Parm or Pecorino to help bind it together. extra adhesion plus extra flavor ;) i'd also saute the mushrooms first to boost the flavor and draw out some of the excess moisture.

                  post back if you need any more help!