• 2 cups (about 1 pound) brown lentils
  • 1 large fresh bay leaf
  • 1 onion, halved plus 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 pound crimini mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1 rib celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
  • Pepper
  • 2 tablespoons rosemary, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons thyme, finely chopped
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup sherry or Marsalsa
  • 1 egg
  • 1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs, lighly toasted
  • Olive oil cooking spray
For the Parsley Sauce
  • 1 bunch parsley
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • About 1/3 cup EVOO
  • Salt and pepper


Serves: 6-8 as an appetizer


Place lentils in pot with about 2 quarts water, bay, halved onion, bring to boil, salt water and cook to just tender, 25 minutes.  Drain lentils, rinse, discard onion and bay and cool lentils in mixing bowl.
Toast walnuts in small pan to fragrant, fine chop and reserve.

Heat olive oil 2 turns of the pan over medium heat, add the mushrooms. Once they are brown, sauté the finely chopped onions, celery, carrot, garlic, chili, allspice, salt and pepper, rosemary, thyme, cook to tender then stir in tomato paste 1 minute then add sherry and evaporate, add to lentils and cool.
To cool mixture add egg, cheese, parsley, breadcrumbs and season with salt and pepper.  Chill mixture 30 minutes to 1 hour then roll into large walnut sized balls using a scoop or oiled hands to roll and arrange on large baking sheets.