Monday, June 18, 2012

Meatless Meatballs

I'm not vegetarian anymore, but I still LOVE my veggies.  I just feel at my best when I eat less meat, especially red meat, and I save money too.  A win-win, as far as I'm concerned.  After seeing these yummy (and easy) looking eggplant meatballs on "A Cozy Kitchen" (what a great name, right?) I had to act!  I really like eggplant, I could honestly have eaten the whole bowl of roasted slices right out of the oven!  My patience was rewarded, though, and the resulting "meat"balls were super-delicious.  I adapted the recipe a little and made half of it.  I ended up with ten smallish veggie-balls.

Get the recipe after the jump.

Adapted from "A Cozy Kitchen
1 large eggplant, sliced
Olive oil, for drizzling
4 slices of knaeckebrot (Wasa crackers)
1 egg
1/4 cup grated parmesan or pecorino cheese
1 tablespoon Italian seasoning

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit or 180 Celcius.  Slice the eggplant into coins (peeling optional, but a good idea) and spread out on a baking sheet.  Drizzle with the olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for 30 minutes, or until they are very soft and golden-brown.

Smash your crackers until they are breadcrumb consistency (you can use a blender if you want).  In a blender, pour the roasted eggplant, the egg, and about 3/4 of the breadcrumbs.  Grind together until the mixture becomes pasty. Add the cheese and Italian seasoning, plus more salt and pepper to taste. Pulse to combine. The mixture should be moldable.

Form the mixture into small balls and place on a baking sheet. Cook in the oven for about 30-40 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through.  You can slice one in half if you need to to check for doneness.  Mine only took 20 minutes in the top rack of the oven.

Serve over pasta or any other meatbally way.

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