Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Eggplant "Meatballs"

I know what you're thinking: "Eggplant meatballs?! Really?! And you have the audacity to call yourself an Italian?!"

By no means will these replace your beloved mother's meatballs (if you need a good recipe, try Dom's Mom's meatballs which can be found here... My family swears by them!), but they're pretty damn delicious if I do say so myself. Served over a little fettuccine with extra marinara... they're perfect!

This recipe is the result of years scowering the internet for a good vegetarian meatball recipe and constantly being disappointing with the results. Too bland... too mushy... too GROSS... you get the point.

These meatballs are flavorful, crispy, easy to make, and a much lighter than your meaty meatballs!

First you peel and dice up some eggplant into really small cubes

Then you saute your eggplant in a little olive oil for about 20 minutes (until they cook down)

They should look like this when they're done

Put 'em in a bowl and mash 'em up

While you're letting your eggplant cool, grease a baking dish with a bit of olive oil

Add in all your party people (salt, onion, garlic, Parmesan, black pepper, red pepper flakes, oregano, basil, parsley, salt and panko) to the eggplant mush once it's cooled

Mix in the eggs

Roll the mixture into 20 little balls and place them on the oiled baking dish

Bake them for approximately forty minutes, turning them over halfway through

Serve with some marinara and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese

Hope you enjoy... and let me know what you thinks!

Eggplant 'Meatballs"

Makes about 20 Meatballs
  • 3 lbs eggplant, peeled and diced into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 8 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 1/2 cup panko
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon dried basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 eggs

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-low heat. Add the eggplant to the pan and sauté over medium-low heat for about twenty minutes, or until cooked. 
  3. Transfer the eggplant to a large mixing bowl. Using a potato masher, mash the eggplant, then allow it to cool completely. 
  4. While the eggplant is cooling, pour remaining 5 tablespoons of olive oil into a 15x10 inch baking dish. Spread oil so that it covers entire dish. 
  5. Once eggplant is cool, add onion, garlic, parmesan, panko, salt, black pepper, oregano, basil, and parsley to the bowl. Combine well. 
  6. In a separate, small bowl, scramble the two eggs together. Then fold the eggs into the eggplant mixture until well combined. 
  7. Using your (clean) hands, roll the eggplant mixture into two-inch balls and place on oiled baking dish. 
  8. Place the baking dish in the oven on the top rack and bake for forty minutes, turning the meatballs over halfway through. 
  9. Enjoy! 

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