A (Plant-based) Taste of Sweden

by | Dec 2, 2019

Swedish flag hanging from the back of a ferry boat
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Last updated on November 19th, 2023

By Doug McNish

Doug’s top tip to add global flavour to your holiday:

Get local with your knowledge.

“Study cookbooks written by local chefs, obviously visit the country if you can, and dine in local restaurants. Other than that, other cultures’ cuisine really is about understanding their spices, seasonings and cooking methods. Once you can understand that, it is pretty simple to learn how to cook like any country in the world,” he says.

Lentil Walnut Meatballs

 Lentil Meatballs


Makes 20 meatballs

Food processor
Purple portion scoop

  • 2 tbsp ground flax seeds
  • 6 tbsp water
  • 2 cups cooked green lentils, 1 cup dry
  • 1/4 cups walnuts
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tbsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tbsp neutral oil, such as grape seed or sunflower
  • 1 cup finely diced white onion
  • 2 tbsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 2 tbsp white wine
  • bunch flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Neutral oil to cook in
  1. In a bowl, whisk ground flax seeds and hot water until well combined. Set aside so flax, can swell and absorb liquid – about 10 minutes
  2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process 4 cups of cooked green lentils, 1 cup walnuts, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup nutritional yeast and 1 tbsp sea salt. Process until mixture is mostly smooth, making sure to leave a little bit of texture. Transfer to a bowl. Process the remaining lentils, walnuts, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast and salt. Combine all processed lentil mixture.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat oil on medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and translucent – about 6 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring constantly until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add wine and cook until almost all of the liquid has evaporated.
  4. Remove from heat and stir into processed lentil mixture. Add soaked ground flax and chopped parsley. Mix until well combined.
  5. Using a purple portion scoop, divide the mixture into 20 equal meatballs. On medium heat, heat enough oil in the bottom of a sauté pan to cover evenly. Brown meatballs on all sides. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate for up to 1 week.
Wine-Pairing Recos from Erin Henderson, Co-Founder, The Wine Sisters & Drink T.O.

While vegan, these meatballs are just as hearty and rich as the real thing, so there’s no need to treat them any differently when it comes to pairing. Lentils and walnuts are quite earthy, so I would pair a red wine with those same notes – Pinot Noir from Burgundy seems like the obvious choice.
Try: Jean Monnier 1er Cru Montrevenots, Beaune 2016, Burgundy, France

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