The other day I was really craving some eggplant for dinner. I kept thinking about my parents freezer… which happens to be full of home made eggplant meatballs & patties that I made at the end of last farm season with all the extra eggplant we had leftover. I was hoping the local grocery store had a decent looking organic eggplant to satisfy my cravings. Luckily, I found myself a lovely purple Italian eggplant, grabbed a few red peppers, some cremini mushrooms and headed back home.
I haven’t been the biggest pasta eater these past few years (despite the fact that I LOVE it) but the thought of meatballs with out it’s noodle-y counterpart is a crying shame. I did my best in writing down all the ingredients except for the herbs because I enjoy playing with flavors and tasting it as I go. I advise you to have some fun and see what you come up with as well.
Honestly, I think this round of eggplant meatballs came out even better than the ones I made back home. I will surely be trying out more recipes with eggplant as the season comes whirling back around, but until then, I made enough of these babies to store in the freezer to last me for at least a few more dinners. Enjoy!
p.s. These meatballs can easily be formed into “patties” if that’s your fancy…
1 eggplant (3/4-1LB), chopped into pieces
1/2 red pepper, diced
6-7 cremini mushrooms (about a handful), diced
1/2 large onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, diced
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/3 cup water
1 cup italian breadcrumbs
salt & pepper
1. Heat up olive oil in a fry pan (with a lid) over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add garlic and the rest of the vegetables.
2. Cover with the lid and let them cook for a few minutes. Add the 1/3 cup water, place the lid back on and cook for 20-30minutes. Every 5-7 minutes you can give it a little stir.
3. At about 30 minutes your eggplant, veggie medley should have cooked down to look like this. If it does you are ready to add the herbs, salt and pepper.
4. I put a few shakes of thyme, oregano, and marjoram into the mix and I went a little more heavy on the basil. I also added in a tablespoon of fresh parsley. Finally, I added about 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp of salt (I go more by taste) and several clicks of the pepper grinder (I love pepper).
5. Once the herbs have been mixed in you can transfer the eggplant mixture to a bowl. Here you can add in the Italian bread crumbs a little bit at a time until you have put the full cup in. I put the bowl in the fridge for about 10-15 minutes to let it cool off before making my meatballs.
6. Once the mixture has cooled you can roll out your meatballs and lightly pan fry them in some olive oil. You can also heat up the oven to 375 and toast them that way (I feel like they are more moist pan fried). Add them alongside your favorite sauce and pasta and enjoy!
*Also, these meatballs freeze ever so nicely for many meals to come… especially if you double or triple the recipe!