Tuna and Chickpea Meat(less) Balls

Is it just me or are foods that are ground, seasoned, and then shaped into balls or patties really delicious. Versatile, too. These are a play on the classic fish meatballs found in Mediterranean countries; in this recipe I substituted half the amount of fish with chickpeas. And I have to say the outcome was/is delicious. These are so easy to make--put all the ingredients in a food processor--and you don't necessarily have to cook them in tomato sauce (as I did); I was eating them straight from the skillet. They would also be delicious as an appetizer with a yogurt, lemon sauce, or spicy rouille. Anyhow for variations on this recipe (fish or poultry) click here. For a Lebanese variation (kibbeh), click here. And for a vegan version, click here.

Tuna and Chickpea Meat(less) Balls
Makes about 18-24 small balls
8 ounces fresh tuna, diced
1 cup cooked chickpeas (or canned and rinsed)
2 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed, diced
2 large eggs
1/2 bunch flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 bunch green onions, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon crushed hot pepper
1/2 teaspoon whole fennel seed
1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and process until a somewhat smooth paste. Transfer the paste to a bowl and refrigerate for about 20 minutes, then shape into balls. Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet with a few tablespoons olive oil over medium high heat. Sauté the fish balls on all sides until lightly browned and cooked through, or finish cooking them in sauce.

Urban Simplicity