Courgette and asparagus balls

Easy Food Recipes and Cooking - Courgette and asparagus balls

Courgette and asparagus balls

Serves 4
Prep 1 hr + standing and chilling + Cook 20 mins
4 small courgettes
2 tsp sea salt
25g pine nuts
2 free-range eggs
8 asparagus spears, trimmed and cut into 2mm rounds
2 cloves garlic, crushed
large pinch of dried chilli flakes
100g fresh white breadcrumbs
6 tbsp finely grated vegetarian
Parmesan-style cheese
200g Japanese panko breadcrumbs

Courgette and asparagus balls

1. Coarsely grate the courgettes into a bowl and sprinkle over 1 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside for 20 minutes to draw out some of the liquid, then squeeze the courgettes in a clean tea towel. This is important, because you want to remove as much liquid as you can in order to help the mixture combine and stick together.

2. Put the pine nuts into a dry frying pan and toast them over a medium heat, shaking the pan from time to
time and making sure they don’t burn. Remove the pan from the heat as soon as they start to turn a light
brown colour and then tip them on to a board. When they’ve cooled down, crush them into small pieces.

3. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the asparagus, grated courgettes, garlic, chilli flakes, white readcrumbs, Parmesan-style cheese, crushed pine nuts and another teaspoon of salt. Combine the mixture with a wooden spoon, then mix thoroughly using your hands, squeezing the mixture together as you go. The mixture will be fairly wet, so put it into the fridge for 30 minutes to chill and to allow the flavours to infuse.

4. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6 and line a large baking tray with non-stick baking

5. Put the panko breadcrumbs into a shallow bowl. Form the courgette mixture into 12 balls, each about
3–4cm in diameter, then roll them in the panko breadcrumbs and place them on the prepared baking tray.

6. Bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes, turning the tray round halfway through – the balls should begin to brown on the top and be firm to touch. Keep an eye on them to make sure that they don’t get burnt underneath.

7. Delicious served with a cheese sauce and fresh pasta, with a poached egg on top