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Author Notes: A new twist on the classic meatball, using eggplant instead of any ground beef, turkey, pork, or veal. My family and I love to have this dish on Meatless Mondays, and we serve it with some homemade tomato sauce. It's a great healthy choice - you can even bake the "meatballs" as opposed to frying. —Kate
Makes 16 small or 8 large meatballs
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large garlic cloves, minced
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and diced
- 1 tablespoon water
- 1 cup panko bread crumbs (I use whole wheat)
- 1/2 cup freshly chopped pasley
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
- extra olive oil for frying
- Heat a large sauce pan on a medium flame.
- Add the oil, give it a swirl, then add the garlic. Sauté until golden.
- Add the diced eggplant and the water. Mix the eggplant and the garlic, then cover.
- Reduce the heat and let the eggplant steam until very soft and tender.
- 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.
- Using your hands, form the "meatballs." They can be as small as a golfball, or as large as an ice cream scoop.
- 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.