Please welcome my friend & amazing home (& Instagram) chef, Chris. He decided to do the dirty work for us in finding the best veg meatball in all of the land. Welcome, Chris!
I love meatballs.
I love vegetables too, and eat lots of them, but I’m a pretty committed omnivore. And I reserve a special place in hell for the commercial vegetarian burgers and meatballs that attempt to duplicate the taste of meat – usually with a list of unpronounceable chemicals. Why bother, when vegetables taste so great? Now if a veggie meatball can taste great without loading up on artificial flavorings, and come close to the texture and, well, meatballness of a real meatball, then we’re talking.
A friend alerted me to a wonderful blog post by Sarah Grey on the Serious Eats website. The post, describes her 9-month experiment with “Friday Night Meatballs” in which her family extends an open invitation to friends, relatives, social media contacts, and whoever to come by every Friday night for a dinner of spaghetti and meatballs. It is a simple yet powerful idea; have company for a sit-down meal once a week, where those from all areas of your life meet and break bread, and take a regular break from your busy life and social isolation.
To keep it simple week after week, you need to serve something that (a) is easy to prepare in large quantity ahead of time, (b) you can specialize in and do well, and (c) almost everyone likes. Meatballs with pasta fits these requirements very nicely.
So my wife and I, with the cooperation and help from a few good friends, decided we wanted to try this. I’m hoping it changes our lives, just a bit.
This leaves a small but important dilemma. While I cook meatballs very well, a significant fraction of my friends are vegetarian, lactose-intolerant, and/or celiac. And both of my recipes feature copious amounts of meat, cheese and bread.
turkey/spinach meatballs. |
Needed an ironic photo for a vegetarian blog.
Hence, my search for the ultimate vegetarian meatball recipe.