With the holidays just around the corner, I am sure that you are starting to freak out over what to serve for your holiday cocktail party, work potluck or what to serve when your favorite vegetarian comes to dinner.
I have been playing around with some recipes to make eggplant into “meatballs” (without the meat). My adventure in the kitchen started this summer. I took a few wrong turns, but I think that I finally have these perfected.
These are baked, so they are quite healthy. Serve hot out of the oven as an appetizer or main course with a tomato sauce.
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 white onion, minced
1 large eggplant
1 cup water
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
Fresh flat leaf parsley
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 cup bread crumbs
Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and dried oregano and/or basil
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
Heat a large skillet over medium. Add olive oil and onion, salt, pepper, pepper flakes and oregano. This should become aromatic. Add garlic and eggplant that has been cubed (with its skin) and cup of water. Reduce down to low and cook for 20 minutes. The water will reduce down and you are then left with a pan filled with a soggy mess. Allow this to cool for a few minutes.
In a large bowl, mix grated cheese, a handful of chopped parsley, eggs and breadcrumbs. Add in eggplant mixture and stir. Add more breadcrumbs if the mixture is too moist. You then must refrigerate the mixture for 15 minutes (trust me, I skipped this in my trial runs. It makes all the difference). Roll into balls.
Place the eggplant “meatballs” on the baking sheet (don’t forget the parchment paper or else they will stick) Bake for 30 minutes. I like to flip them over after around 15 minutes to get them crisp on both sides.