Eggplant meatballs

Now that the garden produce in our raised vegetable beds are clearly mass-producing, I can hardly keep up with ideas on how I can turn all of it into some good wholesome meals.  I’ve been wanting to try these vegetarian eggplant (aubergine) meatballs for sometime now – I’ve seen a zucchini (courgette) version of it also.  Since I have quite a few non-American readers on this blog, I thought to put the other name that it is also known as in brackets 🙂  So here are some of the veggies that I picked from the garden last week.  The beans were a sorry sight, I believe the deer devoured most of it, the cucumbers plants were heavily chomped on too 😦  But there’s always good news.  The okra is starting to show, the onions look promising, there’s heaps of cherry tomatoes, regular tomatoes and peppers in all shapes and colors and the best news of all?  Click to the bottom of the post to find out what I’m excited about 🙂

Ingredients:

  • cooking spray
  • olive oil
  • 1 large unpeeled eggplant cut into 1-inch pieces
  • kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil, plus leaves for garnish
  • 2 tbsp fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1 large egg beaten
  • 2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes – add Italian seasonings or 1 bottle Marinara sauce.  When the larger tomatoes ripen, I will definitely be making spaghetti sauce for the freezer.

Directions:

  1. Heat the oven to 375 deg F.  Either spray the baking sheet or use tin foil.
  2. Place 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat.  When hot add the eggplant and 1/4 cup water.  Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally until tender 10-12 minutes.  Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times.
  3. Transfer to a bowl and add bread crumbs, beaten egg, Romano cheese, parsley, garlic, chopped basil, oregano, Italian seasoning into the eggplant.  Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper.
  4. Form the eggplant mixture into balls rolling tightly and transfer to the prepared baking sheet.  Bake until firm and browned, about 20-25 minutes.
  5. Heat sauce in a large skillet – add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes.  Garnish the meatballs with basil leaves and sprinkle added Pecorino Romano cheese, or serve with ricotta cheese if desired.

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Here it is, this is what I’m excited about – sweet corn, showing a taste of things to come.  I can hardly wait to dig into that sweet buttered corn.

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I am co-hosting Angie’s Fiesta Friday #79 with Jess @ CookingIs My Sport.  Do click on Jess’s blog and enjoy an array of dishes that she whips up. A warm welcome to each and everyone of you attending this weekly event.  We’d love to have you stay, sample some of the dishes offered, interact with one another and welcome newcomers.  We do please ask that you link your post to Angie though, it is only polite to do so, and if you are so inclined, please link to Jess’s page and mine too.  Here are the guidelines.  Angie has always been extremely welcoming and consistent with these Fiesta Friday parties, let’s show her our support by saying thank you.  It also helps to link up, as you will qualify for next week’s features.  Happy Fiesta Friday friends, welcome aboard!

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65 comments

  1. Loretta,
    What a treat the eggplants are ! I am drooling here looking at the eggplant meatballs. You and I are thinking along the same lines this week when it comes to veggie balls and sauce .Has to be. telepathy 🙂 Mine is veggie balls in Indo Chinese sauce!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Sandhya, it was a nice twist from the popular Italian meatballs. We sure had mental telepathy going on for this week’s FF party, I’ll definitely have to give yours a try, I don’t think I’ve tried it before. Enjoy your weekend and stay hydrated 🙂

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      1. Loretta, My husband and I love eggplant parm and meatballs . So I am definitely going to make your recipe too. I know we will love it!
        Have a great weekend!

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    1. Thanks Lily, it definitely makes it all that more exciting when you know that you’ve cooked an entire meal from veggies in the garden. My pleasure to co-host. I’ve just signed up for your posts, I thought I had done that before, but I don’t find you in my Reader for some reason. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for stopping by Corina. I too had never tried making meatballs with any type of vegetables before, but it was definitely a huge hit that I will be repeating. Enjoy your weekend 🙂

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    1. Thanks Indus, I just love gardening, I’ve allocated a special section on my blog for my gardening posts. I guess I should have tagged this on my gardening post too. It is a great feeling knowing that you’ve cooked an entire meal from produce from the garden. Enjoy your weekend,and thanks for stopping by 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes I totally agree with you how much satisfaction one can get from growing plants and getting the fruits 9and vegetables:)) of the labor! I love gardening too but this summer has been hard for me for multiple reasons – we had some extension work going on plus my health has not been very good 😦 U have a great summer!

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      2. Sorry to hear about your health issues Indus, I hope they improve. I somehow seem to be lethargic in the summer months as gardening takes on a whole new meaning in the heat and humidity.

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      3. Oh dearie me… I’m sorry. We’ll have to talk, because I was tested for RA too among other things. I do have joint pain but other symptoms as well, so am on meds too. It sucks getting old 🙂

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    1. Ha ha, yes I do remember that commercial very well Fae. I thought of giving it a different name, or omitting the “meat” part, but then it sounded (rude), if you know what I mean. :). It was my first attempt with the eggplants, and I think I was pretty chuffed with the results. Enjoy your weekend. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. What beautiful eggplants you have grown. Mine are barely flowering, but when they do start producing I will try this recipe as it seems simple and delicious. I too love any meal that comes from my own garden. And many thanks for co-hosting this week. Have a lovely weekend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Hilda. Isn’t it the best feeling in the world? At the moment we have eggplants by the armful and I’m running out of ideas :). I can’t wait for the corn though, I’ve never grown corn before, and it will definitely be a welcome sight when harvest time rolls around. Thanks for stopping by. 🙂

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  3. It’s amazing all of the different meatballs you can make. That’s what a garden is for, using the produce that is ready. They look delicious and healthy – never would have thought about using eggplant.Too bad about the critters – we went to a 8′ fence and that kept the deer out. By the way they love corn too so get prepared 🙂 Thanks for co-hosting Fiesta Friday this week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh noooooo Judi, do you mean the deer will eventually have a chomp on all the baby corn coming up? That will be doomsday for me. Frustrating to be a farmer I’m sure. Yes, I’ll have to suggest some kind of wire fence, but apparently they don’t want to do that in the gardens. Still, learning from mistakes for sure. Thanks for stopping by, and enjoy this beautiful Sunday.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loretta these look amazing! Perfect as a vegetarian substitute! I’ve been looking for a new eggplant recipe to try for so long and I think I’ve finally found it! Thanks for the inspiration and for bringing them to fiesta friday!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Nell, pleasure to be co-hosting. Yes, they were delicious and so satisfying knowing that all that hard work in the garden definitely paid off 🙂 Thanks for stopping by.

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  5. These look soooo good Loretta! I am amazed that the eggplants don’t have to be peeled first and that the meatballs held together in the sauce. Definitely making these. I love eggplant! Thanks for hosting FF and bringing this fabulous vegetarian dish to the party. Will have to see if my sons like these meatballs as much as Julie’s Mexican ones from a few weeks back!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ah yes, I remember Julie’s mexican meatballs, I’ll have to make hers as well. I’m not sure if the boys in your family will like this meatless meatball :)). Give it a shot though. It’s a great feeling making all these dishes with produce from the garden. Thanks for stopping by 🙂

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  6. Love your eggplant (or aubergine) meatballs Loretta! They look really yummy and I’d like a plate please, … we could do a meatballs for cakes swap maybe?! 🙂 And your vegetable crop sounds great too – makes me miss having my London allotment. Still, I think I could find some pretty nice aubergines at the market here… Thanks again for co-hosting Fiesta Friday and have a lovely week! 🙂

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    1. Ha ha Lili.. yessss for sure we could do meatballs for your professional cake swaps. I’d be in heaven for sure, and then it would have to be Weight Watchers for me for the rest of the year. 🙂 You see I have no self control when it comes to desserts, that’s why I only make them when we have company or I’m taking it to a friend’s place. I’d eat about 3 of yours in one sitting, (whatever it is) :)). My pleasure to co-host, and thanks for stopping by my space.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My pleasure Aspara, I got first dibs on all the food and desserts :). Will definitely try the eggplant meatballs again, this was my first attempt. Thanks for stopping by. xx

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