Eggplant "Meatballs"

Wondering what to do with your eggplant? You are not alone! Fortunately, eggplant is tasty and versatile once you get used to it. It makes a great addition to lasagna and other pasta dishes, and if you've never tried moussaka, lasagna's delicious Greek cousin, we highly recommend trying your hand at making that with one of your eggplants.

Eggplant "meatballs" are a great way to introduce eggplant to kids and new-to-eggplant adults. They taste just like regular meatballs, and are easy to incorporate into familiar pasta dishes.

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 3 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 large eggplant, peeled and diced

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 cup panko bread crumbs (often kept with the Sushi ingredients at the supermarket - panko = Japanese bread crumbs)

  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh pasley

  • 2 eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 grated Parmesan cheese

  • Additional vegetable oil if frying meatballs

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F if you are planning to bake (rather than fry) the meatballs.

  2. Heat a large frying pan over medium heat.

  3. Add the olive oil, give it a swirl, then add the garlic. Sauté until golden.

  4. Add the diced eggplant and the water. Stir the eggplant, water, and garlic until combined, then cover the frying pan with a lid, reduce the heat to medium-low, and let the eggplant steam until very soft and tender (~10-15 minutes).

  5. In a large bowl, combine the panko bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, cheese, and the soft eggplant. Mix the ingredients well, and then let sit for about 20 minutes.

  6. Using your hands, form the "meatballs." They can be as small as a golfball, or as large as an ice cream scoop.

  7. Cook the meatballs by either frying or baking them. If frying, add a little oil to a pan, and then fry on all sides. If baking, place the meatballs on a greased pan, and place in a 350 degree oven for about 30 mins.

Recipe adapted from Food 52

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