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Nut Rice Balls

It’s nut season.  Here it’s macadamia nuts, but further south it will be almonds and hazelnuts. We’re getting decent harvests from our trees now, and I’m loving learning to use them in savory food as well as baking. Pesto is a bit of a staple, and nut based curry and satay sauces, but I’m only just getting into extending the range.

Nuts are calorie dense but also really really nutrient dense. Super food sources of whole range of vitamins and minerals, as well as protein, fibre, complex carbohydrates, and monounsaturated, good fats. Even if you don’t grow them, you’re likely to be able to pick up fresh in season nuts in shell from Farmers Markets or wholefoods retailers at the moment.

I’ve tried these in a lot of versions.  They’re good just plain, or with basil and semi-sundried tomatoes, or with chili and garlic, but these parsley and lemon ones are our favourites.

The Recipe:

Nut Rice Balls

Makes around 13 balls,  probably about three adult serves.  They make great leftovers for lunch.

Cook ½ cup brown rice in 1½ cups of water with a little salt, to give you just over a cup of cooked rice.  In a pressure cooker, this takes 15 minutes so the whole recipe is do-able in less than half an hour. How I love my pressure cooker!

While the rice is cooking crack enough macadamias to give 1 cup of whole maca kernels, or about ¾ cup of chopped nuts. How I love my Maca Cracker!

Mince the macadamias with the rice, along with

  • one egg
  • one onion,
  • a good handful of Italian parsley, and
  • a scant teaspoon of finely grated lemon zest.

My trusty Braun food processor will do this in one lot, but it’s a heavy load. If you’re not sure, rather than risk burning out the motor, do it in a few batches. Or use a mincer. (I know this is getting boring now, but how I love my Braun processor).

The aim is a coarse meal, a bit like the texture of couscous. Using wet hands, squeeze spoonfuls of mixture together into small patties, about the diameter of an egg. Shallow fry in hot olive oil for a few minutes each side till crisp and golden.

Roast Vegetable Salad:

I served these with roast vegetable salad, and if you are going to go that way, to do it in half an hour, you need to get the rice on first, then get the vegetables on to roast.

The recipe is very simply a tray of vegetables, chopped reasonably small, tossed in olive oil and some herbs, and roasted in a hot oven. I used a beetroot, a carrot,  a parsnip, a red onion, and a trombochino zucchini, tossed in oregano and lemon basil, for this batch.

Allow the vegetables to cool a little, then toss with salad greens, sliced cucumber, and cherry tomatoes. Dress with a squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil.

Did you do a Tuesday Night Vego Challenge this week? Links welcome.


{ 8 comments… add one }
  • Elaine coolowl March 27, 2012, 4:50 pm

    Sounds fabulous – oh for access to truly fresh Maccas coz the BD Pecans in my freezer wouldn’t have the right flavours … or would they?

    May I link to your recipe and post the link on Twitter? There’s an Australian Nut crowd I follow who post rather nice recipes.

  • Linda March 27, 2012, 6:00 pm

    Pecans have a bit more bitterness, like walnuts. I haven’t tried them. I will if I can manage to salvage any of our pecans from the cockatoos. And you are very welcome to link to the recipe. And the nut crowd are very welcome to post links to their recipes here too.

  • Elaine coolowl March 27, 2012, 8:38 pm

    This is the beauty about Pecans, Linda … or the Biodynamic ones I buy from Aracaria farm near you – they are *so sweet*! Even after languishing inshell in the freezer for months, they crack wonderfully well when frozen, using my newly-purchased Crack the Max, made by a guy up at Glass House. Maybe Aracaria are not ‘near’ you but they are closer to you than to me here north of Briz. Today I heard from a woman in the States who thinks someone living in Victoria is my “neighbor” – hoo boy! Anyway, thank you for the permissions and the continuing interesting blog 🙂

  • Sharon March 28, 2012, 7:35 am

    Hi Linda
    thanks for the recipe, I used to make nut patties but haven’t done for a while now, funny how we forget recipes or just stop making them. I might try walnuts as I am harvesting them at the moment. I made the bean curry (last weeks Tuesday night vego challenge) last night (couple of modifications, I added some pumpkin and zucchini)and it was delicious. I’ve always tended just to use “curry” pastes rather than make my own and I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was and how tasty.

  • Linda March 28, 2012, 9:19 am

    Hi Sharon, yes, I remember when I first started making curry from scratch, wondering why I hadn’t tried it before. My mother and grandmother always used curry powder (which was truly dreadful), and I think we just graduated to curry paste from that. I actually make dhall for breakfast every so often, using turmeric and ginger and garlic and chili and cumin and coriander – fast and easy enough to be a breakfast dish.

  • Flick March 28, 2012, 12:34 pm

    Thanks Linda, these were great for dinner last night. I was scanning blogs last night in a fit of procrastination as I wondered what on earth we were going to pull together for dinner – these popped up just in the nick of time. Will definitely be making them again.

  • Jo March 30, 2012, 4:39 pm

    Thanks Linda, exactly what I was looking for after coming in from harvesting our maca’s 🙂 I have managed to get about 5 pecans so far, the cockatoo’s got the rest of ours. Looking forward to trying these out – yum!

  • celia April 1, 2012, 11:12 am

    That looks like a deliciously healthy meal, Linda! 🙂

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