This is such a great recipe – it’s just so versatile! You can substitute these tasty morsels as a meatless meatball in your pot of Sunday Sauce, (See recipe from previous post), or on top of a delicious plate of pasta, or you can put them on top of a salad, skewer them as an appetizer with a dipping sauce of your choice, or how I like to eat them – I just pop them in my mouth after they have cooled slightly – nothing else needed. These little gems can stand alone!
- 1 large eggplant, peeled and diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup olive oil, (plus extra for frying), I use extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup pecorino romano cheese (plus 1/2 cup for dredging)
- 1-1/2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs (plus 1/2 cup for dredging)
- 1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme
In a large frying pan, heat oil and saute garlic until fragrant.
Add diced eggplant. Eggplants are like sponges, and it will almost immediately soak up all the oil from the pan. So I sometimes drizzle a bit on top as well.
Add the water and cover, and reduce heat to low and “steam” the eggplant until it’s very tender.
Remove cover and stir to “dry out” slightly. Then transfer to a large bowl and cool it to room temp.
*If you add the rest of the ingredients when the eggplant mixture is too hot, it will scramble the eggs – trust me on this one. 😉
When cooled, add the eggs, one cup of the cheese, 1-1/2 cups of bread crumbs, the parsley and thyme.
Mix it all together. I use my hands, but if you do, be prepared because it’s going to get sticky!
Let sit for 10 minutes for the bread crumbs to absorb the eggplant mixture. In the meantime, prepare your dredging station.
In a separate plate, add 1/2 cup cheese with 1/2 cup of the breadcrumbs and mix together. Using a 1″ ice cream scoop fill with the eggplant mixture, roll in the breadcrumbs .
Heat a frying pan on medium with approximately 1/4 of olive oil and fry the eggplant balls until golden brown on both sides.
*You could also put them on a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer, and bake them at 325 degrees for 30 minutes.