What to make with the eggplant from our garden? My go-to recipe is eggplant parmesan, but I was all out of nutritional yeast to make a cashew parm. I figured, why not make it into a meatball so that I can still serve it with the big pot of tomato sauce my husband made. We had a lot of tomatoes from the garden!
It was luck that this recipe came together. I used whatever we had left, which was 1 cup of breadcrumbs and 3/4 cup of walnuts in our freezer. I didn’t have to try to figure out how much to use this way, which made recipe development even easier.
MAKES 12-14 BALLS
– 1 small eggplant (roughly 3/4 pounds)
– 1/4 teaspoon salt
– 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
– 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
– 2 garlic cloves, minced
– 2 teaspoons cumin
– 1 teaspoon oregano
– 1/2 teaspoon sage
– 1/2 teaspoon thyme
– 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
– 1 cup bread crumbs
– 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
– 1/4 teaspoon pepper
1. Slice the eggplant into rounds. Spread in a single layer onto paper towels (or dish towel) and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Let rest for 15+ minutes. This step will draw out the bitterness of the eggplant.
2. While the eggplant is sitting, toast the walnuts.
3. Pat dry the eggplant with a towel. Dice the eggplant into small chunks.
4. Heat a skillet with the oil over medium head. Cook the eggplant until lightly brown and softened (approximately 10 minutes).
5. In a food processor, blend the eggplant until it is smooth.
6. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
7. Add in all of the ingredients into the blender. Combine until the desired consistency. If you want more texture to your balls, then just pulse the mixture to keep some of the walnuts in chunks.
8. Shape the mixture into balls. I use a cookie scope. Place onto a greased or lined baking sheet.
9. Bake for 25 minutes, flipping half-way.