Through all of this March Meatball Madness I have received several requests through social media (some subtle, some not) to share more vegetarian options. This veggie loving lady is happy to oblige! With these Eggplant Meatballs you’ll never even miss the meat.Jump to Recipe
I have shared before how fortunate we are to have two outstanding (and gigantic) year-round indoor Farmers Markets less than 30 minutes away ~ Buford Highway and Dekalb. Both carry a wonderful selection of produce, so many varieties of fruits, vegetables and herbs that I find myself googling how to incorporate them into recipes.
For this Eggplant Meatball recipe I oven roasted one pound of eggplant cubes at 450 degrees F. for 25 minutes. Then I pulsed them in the food processor a few times before incorporating them into the remaining ingredients.
For added flavor I used both fresh parsley and fresh basil along with garlic and parmesan cheese. Then egg and Panko breadcrumbs to bind the mixture. You should be able to get a dozen nice sized meatballs.
Eggplant Meatballs have a wonderful texture that is both ‘meaty’ and moist with fresh herbs smiling throughout. We enjoyed them over pasta with tomato sauce and even had enough to share the love with our favorite over-the-fence neighbor Ms. Pat :) Who in kind, returned the love by sending us two delightful Negroni cocktails.
No doubt the past twelve months have been difficult and for some heart breaking and tragic. Cooking is my love language and being able to share that love, even if there’s a fence between us, fills my heart.
For the Meatballs
- 1 pound eggplant cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 Tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs (Gluten Free for GF version)
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese grated
- 1/4 cup fresh herbs (parsley and basil) finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 pound favorite pasta prepared according to package instructions
- 1 cup favorite tomato sauce
- parmesan cheese
- fresh parsley or basil for garnish
For the Meatballs
- Preheat the oven to 450° F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss eggplant cubes in olive oil and spread in single layer onto baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes, then turn over cubes and bake an additional 10 minutes. Cool slightly before transferring to bowl of a food processor; pulse 2-3 times.
- Reduce oven to 400° F. In a bowl, combine eggplant with remaining meatball ingredients. Form into 12 meatballs and place on baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes.
- Serve meatballs over favorite pasta with tomato sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese. Garnish with fresh parsley or basil. Also wonderful as an appetizer with a side of tomato sauce.
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