That’s all I needed to prompt me to make these babies. I’m always keen to try a new way to prepare eggplant, and these “meatballs” looked satisfying enough to be a main course (Meatless Mondays, anyone?). I altered SBK’s recipe somewhat, using ready-made breadcrumbs cause I had some in the cupboard, swapping out the button mushrooms for portobellos and omitting the fennel and flax. Also, I ate mine smothered in homemade marinara (sans pasta), instead of in a sandwich.
I know that some will scoff at this as being a vegetable in meat clothing, but really, I urge you to give them a try. Call them eggplant balls if you like… you don’t have to hide the fact that it’s a vegetable. They would probably be great as a makeshift veggie burger, flattened into patties, or done like a crab cake, fried and thrown on a pile of greens.
1 eggplant, peeled and chopped into cubes
1 cup Italian-style breadcrumbs
3 portobello mushrooms, chopped and browned in a pan until the liquid evaporated
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup (packed) fresh basil, shredded
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat the oven to 400.
In a medium-sized saucepan heat about a tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and add the eggplant. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer the eggplant is very tender and mushy (and brown). Add the eggplant mixture to a bowl and toss in breadcrumbs, mushrooms, basil and cheese. Add some salt and pepper to taste, then add the egg and combine. Shape the eggplant mixture into little balls with your hands. Place on a greased pan and bake until they start to brown, about 20 minutes.
Makes 7 to 10, depending on the size of the eggplant, and the size of your meatballs.