Mom had her clever ways of disguising foods including these meatballs made with chickpeas. Her reasoning was that chickpeas were economical and just as full of protein as other more expensive foods. These are really fabulous on their own or served over a bed of cooked spinach for a filling but inexpensive light supper.
Portions: Serves 6
Pulse the chickpeas in a food processor and transfer to a bowl. Set aside. Add the bell pepper, zucchini, carrot, leek, and garlic to the food processor and pulse until the vegetables are minced. Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and stir in the minced vegetables; cook until softened. Cool about 5 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to the bowl with the chickpeas. Add 1 egg and mix well. With wet hands form the mixture into 1-inch balls. Set aside. Beat the remaining 2 eggs in a shallow bowl and place the bread crumbs in another shallow bowl. Coat each ball in the beaten egg, then roll in the bread crumbs and place on a dish. When all the balls are coated, heat 4 cups of oil in a heavy bottomed, deep pot or in a deep fryer to 375°F. Fry the balls, a few at a time, until golden brown. Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to paper towels to drain. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm.