Chickpea Meatballs with Crunchy Romaine Salad – The Mediterranean is seeing a large metamorphosis substituting meat products with legumes.
How to Make Chickpea Meatballs with Crunchy Romaine Salad
Products like chickpeas are blended into a paste and mixed with breadcrumbs to make Italian meatballs with no meat. The flavor is a lot like hummus even though in truth the flavor of the mixture is falafel instead. The resulting meatless meatballs will be very soft when first mixed but they will get a meat-like texture as they are cooked. Another option is fritters, dodgers, and more. For fritters make 2-inch patties and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side.
About the Chickpea
Chickpeas are an annual plant that belongs to the Fabaceae family. Some of the varieties are the Bengal Gram, garbanzos, or a garbanzo bean, chana, chole, and the Egyptian pea. Chickpeas are very high in protein and much more healthy due to reduced fats. Chickpeas are one of the oldest plant farmed in many regions and the earliest found traces are more than 7500 years old found throughout the middle east.
Chickpeas can be used to make three main ingredients that are used everywhere in the world to cook with. The first two are chana masala and hummus which are both a paste made from the chickpeas, the other is flour that is used to create falafels. These three ingredients are used to make soups, salads, curry, stews, and meals like channa. The chickpea is an important product to both Mediterranean and Indian cooking as well as throughout all Middle Eastern countries. India is responsible for cultivating and harvesting 66% of the world’s total.
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Chickpea Meatballs with Crunchy Romaine Salad
- large, nonstick skillet
- food processor
- 3 cups romaine lettuce about 3 oz. torn
- 1 cup parsley leaves loosely packed fresh flat-leaf
- 1 cup English cucumber chopped
- 1 cup grape tomatoes about 5 oz. quartered
- 1/3 cup red onion slivered
- 3 garlic cloves divided
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice fresh
- 1 1/2 tablespoons water
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 5 tablespoons tahini sesame seed paste, divided
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil divided
- 1 1/8 teaspoons kosher salt divided
- 1 15-oz. can chickpeas unsalted & drained
- 1/2 cup panko whole-wheat, Japanese breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 large egg
- Combine lettuce, parsley, cucumber, tomatoes, and onion; set aside.
- Grate 1 garlic clove. Whisk together lemon juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons water, pepper, grated garlic, 3 tablespoons tahini, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and 3/8 teaspoon salt; set dressing aside.
- Chop the remaining 2 garlic cloves. Process chickpeas in a food processor until almost ground, about 15 seconds. Add panko, cumin, paprika, chopped garlic, remaining 2 tablespoons tahini, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt; process until almost smooth, about 15 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Add egg; pulse just until combined, 5 to 6 times. Shape mixture into 20 balls (about 1 slightly heaping tablespoon each).
- Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add remaining 3 tablespoons oil; swirl to coat. Add chickpea balls to skillet. Cook, turning occasionally, until browned all over and crisp on the outside, 8 to 10 minutes. Serve chickpea balls with salad; drizzle with tahini dressing.