Mushroom and Walnut Vegetarian Meatballs
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Yields: 12 -16 meatballs Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 45 minutes
These vegetarian meatballs are filled with a richness and depth of flavor that can only come from the uniqueness of gourmet mushrooms. A family friendly dish, these veggie meatballs are perfect for pasta, sandwiches or even dipping in your favorite sauce!
1 1/2 cups Trumpet Royale Mushrooms (about 4), diced
3/4 cup Alba Clamshell Mushrooms, diced
3/4 cup Pioppini Mushrooms, diced
1/2 cup finely diced yellow onions
1/4 cup finely diced carrots
1 clove garlic (about 1 teaspoon), minced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 -3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 tablespoon double concentrated tomato paste
1 generous tablespoon fresh flat leaf (Italian) parsley, chopped
3/4 cup whole wheat breadcrumbs*
1/2 cup walnuts
*For these breadcrumbs, I took 1 to 2 slices of whole grain sprouted bread, toasted it and then put it in the food processor until it turned into fine breadcrumbs. You could also just use store-bought breadcrumbs.
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Heat a sauté pan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add diced Trumpet Royale Mushrooms, Alba Clamshell Mushrooms, Pioppini Mushrooms, diced onions, diced carrots, minced garlic and salt. Cook for a few minutes until vegetables start to soften.
3. Add dried oregano, black pepper, tomato paste and fresh parsley. Cook for another 5 minutes, so vegetables can soften a little more and flavors can blend. Remove from heat and set aside.
4. In a food processor, add walnuts and pulse for about 30 seconds until they become like breadcrumbs.
5. Add breadcrumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg and mushroom mixture. Process for about a minute until a meat-like texture forms.
6. Scoop about 1 1/2 -2 tablespoons in your hand and form lightly into a ball. Place on a parchment paper lined baking tray and bake at 425 degrees for about 18-22 minutes.
7. Let cool and enjoy! We enjoyed with fresh pasta, on a sandwich and even straight with ketchup!
Lately, dinner has been a little challenging. I suppose that is really nothing unusual, as usually one out of the three of my children decides that they are boycotting a certain food or have developed a sudden aversion to what I put in front of them.
However, more so now that my middle child has decided to become a vegetarian have my obstacles to creating a family friendly meal become even greater. She loves nuts, but is not the biggest fan of beans, which are also a great source of vegetarian nutrition.
So, I had to come up with a meal that still provides ample nutrition, is filling, and tastes good, without using meat. Low and behold, I had these beautiful gourmet mushrooms from Goodness Greeness, a local Midwest organic produce supplier, and I went to work!
I couldn’t help but reach for the Trumpet Royale mushrooms first. These large, white mushrooms have a great texture, with a meaty flavor from top to bottom. Every part of this mushroom can be consumed, adding richness to any dish. Even as I was cutting up, I couldn’t help but sample, recognizing how delicious these would be even simply sautéed with garlic and butter.
Second, the Alba Clamshell mushrooms are white, smaller mushrooms that have a longer stem and rounded top. They are milder in flavor, less of a meaty texture but are crisp to the bite. To the meatballs, they added a perfect lighter side of the mushroom family when combined with the Trumpet and Pioppini mushrooms.
Third, the Pioppini mushrooms were a great addition to these veggie meatballs. They also have a meaty texture, yet unlike the Trumpet Royale, they have much more of a woody flavor. They are a perfect complement to the Clamshell and Trumpet Royale mushrooms, as they add a rich mushroom flavor, without overpowering the dish.
As I mentioned, these mushroom-based veggie meatballs have quickly become a family favorite, pleasing my 5 year old, self-proclaimed vegetarian. My husband could not get over the fact that there was no meat. He kept asking the ingredients, waiting to hear ground turkey or chicken, of which there was none. He even made a meatball sandwich with the leftovers!
Gourmet mushroom information supplied by Gourmet Mushrooms, Inc.