Meatless Meatball Crostini with Fresh Basil
15 – 18 meatballs
30 – 36 crostini toasts
Prep Time: 30 mins
Cook Time: 4 – 6 HOURS LOW
- oil for sautéing
- 1 (12 oz. bag) MorningStar Farms® Grillers® Crumbles
- 1 tablespoon garlic salt
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
- 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs, whole wheat if available
- 3/4 cup organic ground flax seed
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 4 oz. sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
- oil for sautéing
- 1/2 cup prepared basil pesto
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 large green pepper, chopped
- 1 large carrot, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasonings
- 3 (14.5 oz.) cans stewed tomatoes
- 1 (10 oz.) can Ro*tel® Diced Tomatoes & Green Chilies
- 2 tablespoons molasses
- 1/2 cup whole milk, optional
- 1 - 2 baguettes or Italian bread loaves (any crusty bread)
- 1/2 - 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil for brushing or olive oil spray
- 1/2 - 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese shaved Parmesan cheese
- 24 to 36 fresh, cleaned basil leaves, stems removed
1. Add oil to a large fry pan. Heat on medium-high until oil is shimmering; sauté onion, green pepper and carrots until brown and fragrant. Turn heat off.
2. Place cooked veggies into the Slow Cooker.
3. Add the Ro*tel® Diced Tomatoes to the fry pan. Scrape with a spatula to incorporate browned bits from the pan. Add enriched tomatoes to the Slow Cooker and set fry pan aside.
4. Add the remainder of the Marinara ingredients to the Slow Cooker. Cover and cook on LOW for up to 2 hours (or HIGH for 1 hour) until meatballs are ready to be added.
HINT! If you have any leftover Parmesan rinds or pieces of cheese that cannot be grated, add to the Slow Cooker to enrich the sauce.
Prepare Meatless Meatballs
1. Use your hands to combine meatball ingredients. Refrigerate mixture for 20 minutes to ensure the eggs, panko, ground flax seed and oil are well incorporated.
2. Form meatballs the size of small golf balls. Place formed balls, separated, on a small dish or in an empty egg carton. Freeze, uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, not longer.
3. Add oil to a large fry pan. Heat on medium-high until oil is shimmering, then carefully add meatballs and brown all sides.
NOTE: Meatballs can be fragile. Use a flat spatula to gently lift balls from bottom of the fry pan. Add oil if necessary.
4. Carefully, ease browned meatballs into the Slow Cooker. Cover and continue cooking on LOW for 2 to 3 hours.
IMPORTANT! Meatballs are fragile. Ladle sauce over balls. Do not stir the stoneware pot.
5. Remove cooked meatballs from the gravy and set aside.
6. Add milk to the Slow Cooker and stir. Turn the Slow Cooker down to WARM and add the meatballs back to the stoneware pot to serve.
1. Cut bread into 1/2-inch thick rounds. Lightly brush or spray both sides of each round with olive oil and broil 3 minutes each side or until brown and crispy.
2. Dab each toast with marinara sauce. Add 1 or 2 basil leaves; fresh Parmesan cheese shavings, then top with half a meatball. Add a dollop of Marinara Sauce; then sprinkle with grated cheese.
3. Serve with bowls of Marinara for dipping.