cheatballs, with spring greens
Cheatballs. The cheesiest name I ever did give a recipe. But you know what? I love it! It is totally unpretentious and fun.
I tend to take cooking very seriously. I consider it a culinary art, a magic flavour infuser, a nurturing wonderland, a deeply spiritual act and a big time healer. All at once. And although it is all of the former, it is also good to add pinches of unfussed lightness.
For some reason this weeks spring air, filled with al fresco frolic and the promise of renewal, reminds me of that.
The result was nothing less than delicious and yes, très cheesy.
So here it is, my inner geek on a plate. Hope you’ll adore as much as my family and I do.
May our inner geek get the opportunity to show its face too.
PS. Cheatballs are named cheatballs because they can cheat the most passionate carnivore into eating purely plant-based. At least while this meal lasts ; )
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Cheatballs with asparagus and fennel pistachio pesto
Makes 3 portions
Takes 45 minutes
2 hands buckwheat
2 hands raw walnuts
1 large tsp cumin powder
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp tamari
1 hand basil
½ tsp sea salt
2 pinches of pepper
Fennel pistachio pesto
20 grams fennel
20 grams pistachio nuts, no shell
3 grams fresh thyme, leaves only
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1-2 cloves garlic, fried
Sea salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
15 green asparagus stalks
1 hand of pea shoots
To make the cheatballs: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius, or 350 degrees F. Place buckwheat in pot with ample amounts of water. Bring to a boil, turn the heat to low and cook for 15 minutes. Turn heat off and let cool. Roast walnuts shortly in dry skillet or oven. Take out, let cool. Place walnuts in food processor and grind until a chunky flour appears. Add cooled buckwheat, cumin, lemon juice, tamari, basil, sea salt and pepper. Blitz shortly, until individual buckwheat groats are barely visible. Make 12 equal sized balls and place them onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Bake for 30 minutes. I use my ovens ‘fan mode’.
To make the pesto: place fennel, unshelled pistachios, fresh thyme leaves, oil, garlic, sea salt and pepper in food processor and blitz until a chunky pesto appears. Store airtight and use when desired.
To make the greens: cut asparagus lengthwise into ribbons. Place in pot with water, bring to a boil and cook for one minute or so. Turn heat off, let sit for another minutes or so. Strain and place into a skillet. Sprinkle with pesto, the tops of pea shoots and (optionally) some lemon zest. Add the cheatballs. Serve.
TIP. Both the pesto as well as the cheatballs keep well. Store pesto airtight in the fridge and use within a week or so. Let the cheatballs cool fully, then store airtight in between some baking paper. Use within the next two days. They also pair great with pasta or flatbread.
Photos, recipe and text (c) (copyright) kyra. at kyra’s kitchen.