So I'm having an old friend over for dinner, and he's a vegetarian. Don't we all hate cooking for vegetarians?
None of my tried-and-true-recipes-for-normal-carnivore guests, like Beetroot Chicken or Bloody Pot Roast Beef, would fit the food customs of my friend.
Luckily I recently had a fab side dish at another (non-vegetarian) dinner party some months ago-- spinach meatballs. I decide to serve it as a main course, without the meat. It's masculine, sturdy and fills the stomach well. I served it along with the Umamimart Lazyass eggplant/enoki dish and a rustic salad.
What we need:
- A huge bunch of broad-leaf spinach (always shrinks to microsize when washed and heated so get a lot!). You can also use a frozen bag of fresh spinach which I did in this case.
- 1 egg (organic, please!)
- 3-4 garlic cloves (depending on your taste; add less if you're planning to score later that night).
- Two loaves of wheat bread-- I'm using an organic kind, but you can use any kind. No pumpernickel though.
- Half a nut of nutmeg-- slice it for most freshness.
- Salt, pepper and a dash of curry spice.
Start out by de-thawing your spinach if you got the frozen kind.
It takes some time, so prepare early in the day. Squeeze the water out of the heap of spinach.
Chop the garlic. Yes, your fingers will smell.
You can also squeeze the garlic, but because I'm a real man I like it rugged and rough...
Drop in the egg. It makes the ingredients cling better together.
Smoulder the bread + crust.
Finally add the spices. The curry spice and the nutmeg blend really well with spinach.
I love the nutmeg interior, looks like a piece of woody tree stump.
Remember: don't add too much, max half a nut! Nutmeg is a natural poison and injecting it directly into your veins will kill you instantly.
Yay, cooking on the wild side! These vegetarians are off the hook.
Wash your hands really well and use them to mix the ingredients violently.
It's better than using a spoon as the stuff is pretty big and sturdy and will not cling together, if you don't put some muscle into it.
I have never tried to blend it all, perhaps it would result in a finer texture-- or maybe it would just fall apart.
Heat up a good pan and add some olive oil.
You can also add some olive oil to the spinach dough if you think it needs more fluid. Use a spoon to help shaping the spinach balls.
Right at this moment my friend arrived and my less-than-well-trained hostess skills made me somehow forget the balls while I was attending to the kitchen conversation and making the other dishes.
Result: slightly burned balls!
But they survived somehow.
No one likes eating dry balls, so my friend suggested we make a fresh dip using tahini and lemon.
He squeezed the lemon into a small bowl of tahini and stirs a good dip.
The German label Rapunzel produces a great organic tahini.
Ready to eat!
- Slightly burned spinach balls with tahini/lemon dip.
- The Lazyass eggplant/enoku mushroom dish
- A rugged salad made of baby spinach, arugula, sweet sugar peas, cucumber, yellow pepper, shredded carrot, an Italian mozzerella and a few shiso leaves from the balcony for freshness.
Bon appetit, you veggie freaks!