Broccoli is a near perfect veggie, especially when eating low carb. I didn’t think I’d ever tire of it, but as it happened I reached a broccoli saturation point. Unfortunately I had a head in the fridge that needed to be eaten and no enthusiasm for it. The solution was to change its form into these cheesy broccoli and dukkah balls.
Normally I’d use breadcrumbs and an egg as a binder but since it’s a New Year and we’re back on the low carb wagon, I’ve swapped nuts for the breadcrumbs. I got the idea from Kiersten at Oh My Veggies. She used ground almonds. I had dukkah leftover from this recipe and it worked really well!
You’ll want to steam the broccoli before chopping it up to form in to balls. As mentioned, I had a head of broccoli to use up, but I don’t see why you couldn’t use an equivalent amount of frozen broccoli (between 2 – 3 cups).
To help the broccoli and dukkah balls hold their shape I treated them like the feta balls I’ve made several times. They’re more or less oven fried on a rimmed baking sheet using a generous amount of vegetable oil. It worked well for this batch. Another method, used in the original recipe, is to use a mini muffin tray, placing a ball into each cup.
- 1 large head broccoli, cut into florets and steamed (about 2½ cups)
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- ½ cup dukkah
- ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 large egg, beaten
- sunflower oil
- Preheat the oven to 350F/180C. Prepare a rimmed baking tray with a generous amount of oil (enough to lightly coat the bottom)
- After steaming the broccoli, add it to a food processor along with the garlic and dukkah. Pulse it a few times until it's finely chopped. It's okay if you see pieces of nuts from the dukkah. Work in batches if necessary.
- Transfer to a mixing bowl and add the egg and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- The mix should hold its shape when formed into a ball. You can add a little more parmesan if it seems too wet or a teaspoon of water if it's too dry.
- Portion the mix to form about a dozen or so balls.
- Transfer to the baking tray and gently roll them around in the oil. Arrange the balls so they're not touching and flatten them slightly if desired.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until the balls are golden brown. Turn them over about halfway through to get an even color.
We really enjoyed the flavor. The broccoli and sharp parmesan cheese worked well with the seasoning in the dukkah. The sauce was a red pepper mayo made by blending a roasted red pepper with mayo and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
Cheesy broccoli and dukkah balls can easily be made into a larger batch and frozen for later use. Try them wherever you’d use your usual meatball.