Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Baked Broccoli Cheese Balls - outrageously delicious as a meal or bites to serve at a gathering! Served with a Yoghurt Lemon Sauce.

You'll be surprised how much broccoli is crammed into these! They certainly don't taste healthy - but they are. They are juicy and moist inside, golden on the outside, they stay pretty round after baking, and are gorgeous to serve as a vegetarian main or as bites! Serves 3 - 4 as a main. Recipe video below and Gluten Free option in notes.
Calories374 kcal           
  • 2 cups (packed) roughly chopped soft cooked broccoli (well drained) (~400g/13 oz raw broccoli) (Note 1)
  • 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • ¾ cup shredded cheese (Cheddar, Colby or Tasty cheese are my usual)
  • 2 shallots / scallions , finely sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • Black pepper
  • Olive oil spray
Garlic Lemon Yoghurt Sauce:
  • 2/3 cup plain yoghurt
  • Zest of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ garlic clove , minced
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil (adjust to taste, depends on fat % of yoghurt used)
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 200C/390F (all oven types).
  2. Line tray with baking / parchment paper. (Note 2)
  3. Place all ingredients (except oil spray) in a bowl. Mix well to combine, mashing up the broccoli as you go (like when you are cooking mince).
  4. Scoop up a heaped tablespoon, then press in firmly. Flick out into your hand then form into a ball. Place on tray. Repeat with remaining mixture - should make 15 - 18 balls.
  5. Spray with oil then bake for 25 minutes, or until the surface is slightly crisp and golden.
  6. Serve with Lemon Yoghurt Sauce – it also goes great with ketchup!
  7. Sauce: Mix ingredients together then set aside for at least 20 minutes to allow the flavours to meld.
1. This can be made with fresh or frozen broccoli. If using fresh, you'll need 1 giant head or 2 medium heads. Ensure the broccoli is cooked until soft so it is easier to “mash” and mould into meatball shapes.
Chopping and cooking fresh broccoli: Cut the florets off the broccoli then break up into medium pieces. Cut the thinner stem into about 2.5cm / 1 inch pieces. If you want to use the thick main stem, peel the outer skin (which is tough) then cut into 2.5 cm / 1” x 1cm / 2/5” batons. Boil water in a large saucepan (or do this step in a steamer). Plonk the stems in first, cook for 2 minutes. Then add the florets and cook for 3 minutes, or until soft. Drain well.
2. Storing: Cool then place in an airtight container. For a quick reheat, use the microwave, or otherwise reheat in the oven. These also freeze well once cooked, thaw then reheat at 180C/350F for about 5 minutes. Can be made ahead, form balls, then refrigerate (not freeze), then bake later.
3. Pictured in the photo in post with: Lemon Rice Pilaf and quick sautéed kale (tear off a few handfuls of kale, rip leaves off the tough centre stem, tear into bite size pieces. Saute in a bit of oil with a handful of pre shredded carrots (I always have Just Veg from Woolies on hand), season with S&P and finish with a sprinkle of crushed almonds.
4. GLUTEN FREE OPTION: Sub breadcrumbs with 3/4 cup almond meal. 
5. Nutrition is for 1/3 of the recipe which is a meal size serving (for an adult). Gluten free option: increases to 387 calories, carbs decreases to 17g.

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