- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) quinoa
- 3/4 cup (180 ml) vegetable broth or water
- 1 can 19 oz (540 ml) chickpeas, rinsed and drained
- 3 slices white bread, cubed (with or without the crust)
- 1 cup (250 ml) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) pitted oil-packed Kalamata olives, drained and coarsely chopped
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) parsley, chopped
- Salt and pepper
- Olive or canola oil, for cooking
- In a small saucepan, soften the onion and garlic with pepper flakes in the oil. Add the quinoa and broth and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer gently for about 15 minutes or until the broth is completely absorbed.
- In a food processor, purée the chickpeas until smooth with the quinoa mixture and bread. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Season with salt and pepper.
- With lightly oiled hands, shape each meatball with about 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of the chickpea mixture. Place on a floured baking sheet and coat them with flour. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat about 1 cm (1/2 inch) of oil and brown the meatballs, a third of the balls at a time, for 2 to 3 minutes. Keep warm on a baking sheet with a wire rack. Serve hot or warm as an hors d’oeuvre.
With the extra vegetarian meatballs, you can prepare a delicious sandwich for lunch on a French baguette with lettuce, tomato, and mayonnaise.
Dough balls will crumble if prepared the day before. Cook the same day in a skillet or bake in the oven at 200 °C (400 °F) on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper for about 10 minutes or until the bottoms are lightly browned.