I took a cooking class last week and in that class the instructor made eggplant meatballs. Wow, they were so amazing. I couldn’t even tell that they were meatless. Those faux meatballs were so delicious, that I decided to make them for my family. However, not knowing how my family would feel about eggplant meatballs, just to be on the safe side, I made regular baked Italian meatballs too, which I will be posting on this blog next. Yeah, yeah, I know! I go above and beyond to please my family – do you? Anyway, both versions of meatballs were heated and served in my slow cooker marinara sauce.
Everyone in my family tried the eggplant meatballs and loved them! They were so easy to make that I can’t wait to make (and eat) them again. #nomnom
- 3 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 lb. (500 g) eggplant, unpeeled, cut into cubes no larger than 1
- inch (2.5 cm)
- ¼ cup (2 fl. oz./60 ml) water
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. freshly ground pepper
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup (7 oz./220 g) cooked or canned white beans
- ¼ cup (1/3 oz./10 g) chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- 1 cup (2 oz./60 g) bread crumbs, preferably whole wheat
- ¼ cup grated percorino or parmesan cheese.
- Preheat an oven to 375°F (190°C). Use 1 Tbs. of the olive oil to grease a large rimmed baking sheet.
- In a large fry pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. When it’s hot, add the eggplant and water. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pieces shrivel a bit and are tender and beginning to color, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a food processor and allow to cool.
- Add the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil to the pan along with the onion and garlic and return to the heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until they’re soft and translucent, 3 to 5 minutes. Meanwhile, drain the beans; if using canned, rinse the beans also. Add the beans and parsley to the work bowl with the eggplant and pulse only a few times, until well combined and chopped but not pureed. This is important! You want chunks to eggplant to remain.
- Toss the eggplant mixture with the onion and garlic, then add the bread crumbs and grated cheese. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Roll the mixture, or use an ice-cream scoop, into 12 balls about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake, undisturbed, until they’re firm and well browned, 25 to 30 minutes.
- In a large skillet, add 2 cups of marinara sauce then carefully place in eggplant meatballs and heat.