Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Eggplant Balls

My early memories of eggplant, that my mother made for us, was anything but Italian!  In fact, I had never heard of eggplant Parmesan until after I was married.  Rather, my mother's recipe for eggplant was breaded and sauteed, but then she served it with maple syrup!  Neither my sister, Barbara, nor I know where this recipe came from and why she decided that syrup was the perfect accompaniment, but it's one I've never made for my family.

However, I do love eggplant Parmesan and make that often.  This recipe, I created, stems from the flavors and seasonings in Parmesan but, the roasting of the eggplant in Baba Ganoush.  I originally made these because I was coming up with a substitute for meatballs with our pasta, but they are so good, and easily stand alone...even though I still like them with a little pasta or stuffed shells.

Whether you've planted eggplant in your garden or bought it in the market (like I did), I hope you try this recipe. It's easy and I'm sure your family will love it.  And, if you've ever had eggplant with maple syrup, please tell me where this concept came from!

Eggplant Balls

1 large eggplant, wash and dry with paper toweling
1/4 c grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 c bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. dried oregano
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil

Preheat oven to 400F-degrees. Brush some olive oil on the eggplant and use a fork to poke some "steam" holes in it.  Roast 40 minutes.  It will look shriveled when done.
 Let cool for 10-15 minutes for easy handling.  Then, make a slit with a knife and scoop out the flesh inside to a bowl.  I like to chop the flesh finer with my mezzaluna before adding the remaining ingredients.
Add the egg, seasonings, minced garlic, Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs and stir together.  Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.

Heat a sauce pan on top of the stove over medium heat.  Add 2-3 Tablespoons of olive oil to the pan.  Use a large tablespoon to scoop up some eggplant mixture and form into a ball, about the size of a large walnut.  Roll the ball in additional breadcrumbs.
Gently add them to the hot oil.  Saute the balls on each side about 5-7 minutes.
 Add them to your favorite sauce...admittedly, mine is Raos, but a homemade marinara is great too.  You can cook them on top of the stove an additional ten minutes to heat through with the sauce or place in a baking dish, add some mozzarella or Fontina cheese on top and bake at 375F-degrees for 15-20 minutes.  Serve with your favorite pasta or as I did tonight, with stuffed shells; not maple syrup.  Enjoy!


  1. We just made these last weekend and they are so good.

  2. They were good; that's why I came home and made them for your Dad!

  3. Yay! Thank you for pointing me in the right direction with this 'meat substitute' for pasta! I found a recipe for tofu balls in my cookbook yet I am not a huge tofu fan. These will be great! My husband and I are hoping to make fresh pasta, bread and well now these! Starting a Sunday tradition with the kids helping in the kitchen, how lovely to have you join us too with your recipe! xoxo