by Sarah Steimer
For the cauliflower balls:
- 1 head of cauliflower, cut into florets and steamed until tender
- 1/2 cup walnuts, lightly toasted
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 serrano or jalapeno pepper, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup roasted red pepper, chopped small
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Pulse the walnuts in a food processor until they reach a crumb consistency. Transfer to a large bowl.
Pulse the cauliflower in the food processor until it also reaches a crumb consistency. Careful not to puree. Add the cauliflower to the large bowl.
Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the olive oil and heat. Add the shallot and garlic to the pan and cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the serrano and roasted red pepper; season with salt and pepper. Cook for about 3 minutes.
Add the shallot mixture to the bowl and let cool for a few minutes, tasting and adjusting the seasoning. Add the egg, breadcrumbs and Parmesan. Mix with a spoon or your hands, then form into golf ball-sized balls, making sure they are relatively firm. You may need to add more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too wet. Place the balls on a parchment-lined baking sheet.
Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the outsides are golden brown.
Makes about 16 cauliflower balls.
Recipe adapted from: One Domestic Goddess
For the polenta, spinach and caramelized onions:
- 2 teaspoons olive oil
- 1/4 red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup roasted red pepper, thinly sliced
- 2 handfuls spinach
- 1 1/2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup cornmeal
- 1 tablespoon butter
Heat a saute pan over medium heat. Once hot, add the oil and let warm. Add the onion and toss before lowering the heat to medium-low. Season with salt. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally and deglazing the pan with water or red wine if necessary.
While the onions cook, bring the water and salt to a boil in a medium pot. Slowly whisk in the cornmeal. Reduce the heat to low and whisk the polenta frequently, cooking for about 10-15 minutes. Once creamy, add the butter.
When the onions have caramelized, add the red pepper and spinach to the pan. Cook until the spinach has wilted, about 1 minute.
Serve the cauliflower balls over the polenta and caramelized onion-spinach mixture. Top with Parmesan cheese, if desired.
Makes about 4 servings.
*Push up your sleeves and get ready to roll… meatballs. This March we’re serving up bite-sized recipes for meatballs featuring different meats and nonmeat ingredients for our Grind and Roll guide.