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Eggplant Meatballs

Eggplant Meatballs

This week we rescued cases and cases of eggplant that were destined to otherwise be wasted. The skin might have been a little spotted on the outside, but who cares if you're simply going to slice it and bake it anyway? At my house, many of us are vegetarians, so I'm always looking for creative ways to transform traditionally meat-based entrees into meat-free ones. This one is so good, I swear you won't even miss the meat.

Eggplant Meatballs

1 eggplant

2 Tbsp. olive oil

1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 tsp. pepper

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup bread crumbs

1 egg, beaten

1 Tbsp. fresh parsley or basil (or 1 tsp. dried)

1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Wash your eggplant and then chop it into 1" or 2" cubes. Place it on a rimmed baking sheet and toss it with 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast it about 20 minutes or until lightly browned, stirring occasionally. Pull it out of the oven and let it cool enough to handle it. Transfer the eggplant to a food processor or a blender. Pulse to grind up the roasted eggplant until smoother but a bit chunky. Transfer the eggplant to a bowl. Add garlic, bread crumbs, egg, herbs and cheese. Stir well to combine. If it needs to be thicker, add a bit more bread crumbs. If it is too thick, add a bit of water.

Spray a rimmed baking sheet with oil. Using a cookie dough scoop or your hands, form the eggplant mixture into small balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place on baking sheet.

Bake until firm and browned (about 20 minutes). Serve with pasta or rice and your favorite marinara sauce.

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