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Eggplant Balls

January 18, 2010

Eggplant Balls

This is a recipe gifted by my brother-in-law who is a creative, adventurous and great cook. These eggplant balls are well worth the little extra effort to make; as they are both delicious and versatile. Serve as part of a Mezze platter with Lebanese dips and breads or as an alternative to meatballs in this classic pasta dish. I also aim to try them as a kofta in curry very soon. For a vegan version omit the cheese and replace the egg with a little plain flour.

Eggplant Balls

Preparation time: 80mins // Makes 15-20

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  • 3 large eggplant (aubergine)
  • olive oil
  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 red chilli, finely diced (optional)
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups fresh wholemeal breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp dried oregano or thyme
  • 1 free-range egg or ½ tbs plain flour
  • ¼ cup grated fresh vegetarian parmesan or sharp tasty cheese (optional)

Preheat the oven to 180°C/356°F and lightly oil two large oven trays.

Peel and slice the eggplant into 1cm thick disks; evenly space the sliced eggplant on the oven trays. Sprinkle with a little salt and lightly drizzle with olive oil.

Bake in a moderate oven for 35-40mins or until golden and soft; remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly.

In a food processor (or by hand) chop the cooked eggplant finely.

In a large bowl mix the finely diced onion, garlic, chilli, 1 cup of the bread crumbs, oregano or thyme; combine well. Add the whisked egg, cheese and eggplant mixture; season with salt and pepper.

Mix thoroughly (easiest with your hands); check consistency and add more bread crumbs if the mixture is not coming together easily.

Form mixture into small balls and set aside. I try to make the balls a few hours ahead so as to rest them in the fridge to set firmly but this is not essential.

Place the balls on non-stick oven trays and bake in a moderate oven for 30 minutes; until golden.

Alternatively they can be deep fried for added crunch and naughtiness : )

Serve as a side or appetizer with bread and dips or try them in this pasta recipe.

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  • Reply Mrs Ergül January 18, 2010 at 9:31 pm

    Wow! These are brilliant! Love the idea of a non-meat meatball!

  • Reply Kenzi January 20, 2010 at 7:41 am

    Hm, interesting. My roommate just won me over with black bean burgers…I might have to pass this along!

  • Reply Noelle (An Opera Singer in the Kitchen) January 20, 2010 at 8:13 am

    Great recipe! I love to see another recipe for eggplant used in a different way. Thanks!

  • Reply Maria Sol Tellis February 4, 2010 at 9:22 am

    I made these wonderful eggplant balls 2 days ago and I think this recipe is a keeper. I forgot to add oregano and the parmesan cheese but doubled up on the garlic and chili pepper. I will make these balls with the pasta.

    I baked most of it but fried a few just to see the difference, my husband preferred the baked eggplant balls.

    Many thanks from Toronto, Canada.

  • Reply Trudy (veggie num num) February 4, 2010 at 9:52 am

    All credit goes to my brother-in-law for this recipe and I agree they are fantastic!! Eggplant is a beautiful ingredient!!

    Thank you for the great feedback Maria!! I prefer them baked as well, although the fried ones are great with dip on a party platter!!

  • Reply Cherine February 4, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    Yummy these balls look delicious. I will definitely try them soon with some hummus :)

  • Reply Claytonzo February 5, 2010 at 10:27 pm

    These eggplants ballz are the shiznay!

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  • Reply anna February 7, 2010 at 4:20 pm

    These look so delicious! Bet they’d be great in a pita like falafel…or in a pita WITH falafel…mmmmm.

  • Reply Trudy (veggie num num) February 8, 2010 at 11:57 am

    hehehe anna you read my mind; I have been thinking the exact same thing lately!! I agree they would be very, very good in a pita and most defiantly with falafel!! thanks for the great feedback everyone!!

  • Reply Irish February 9, 2010 at 5:12 pm

    Great website, well done. The eggplant balls are truly a sensation in your mouth. I dont know where your brother in law got his inspiration but he is a talent indeed. I wonder if he would cook for me, his wife if very lucky indeed

  • Reply Saga February 27, 2010 at 9:30 am

    Made these a while ago and they were delicious!! Definitely a keeper :)

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  • Reply Erin May 26, 2010 at 12:19 am

    Please tell me what “Moderate Oven” equates to? Fahrenheit or Celsius is preferable. Thanks, these look tasty and I’d like to make them, but don’t want to overcook

  • Reply Trudy (veggie num num) May 26, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    Hi there Erin, I bake these at 180°C/356°F checking frequently to insure they don’t stick or burn… you will see when they are done, they go lovely golden in colour… Yum!! Ennjoy :)

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  • Reply Lyra November 10, 2011 at 9:02 pm

    I made this tonight with your spaghetti recipe and it worked out great! Was never a fan of eggplant but tasting these definitely changed my mind! I think i will make your breakfast lentils for my boyfriend tomorrow morning :) Thanks!

  • Reply monique March 2, 2012 at 8:34 am

    AWESOME RECIPES!! I have searched web for good vegan recipes with colour and taste and passion and love and creativity and i am happy to found yours! thank you!!

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