Eggplant is on the meatier side of the vegetable group, fleshy and juice, making it the perfect candidate for a meatball. The buckwheat groats and oats give these balls some grit and texture, and the pine nuts and parmesan add a little richness.
You can adapt these to be vegan if that’s your game.
- 2 large eggplant (700g)
- 2/3 cup oats
- 1/3 buckwheat groats – could substitute walnuts or breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup parsley
- 1 red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons (30-40g) pine nuts, roughly ground
- 1/2 cup parmesan, optional (replace with 1 teaspoon tamari sauce)
- Panko crumbs, for rolling
- Salt and pepper
- Coconut oil
- Olive oil
Prepare a tray lined with baking paper.
Blend together onions and garlic. Heat coconut or olive oil in frying pan over a medium heat.
Add onion mix and eggplant and cook for about 7 minutes, until eggplant almost cooked through but still firm – it’s needs to retain some body.
Transfer mixture to food processor. Add parsley, oats buckwheat, pine nuts and parmesan if using. Pulse until mixture is a rough texture but thoroughly combined.
Roll mixture into small balls, and roll in panko crumbs to coat and set aside on prepared tray.
Heat oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Once hot, add meatballs and cook for about 8 minutes, turning to cook until golden on each side.
Serve with cherry tomato sauce and spaghetti (or zucchini spaghetti as in the photo), on roll for an eggplant meatball sub.
Cherry Tomato Sauce
2 shallots, finely sliced
2 x 400g tinned cherry tomatoes
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
Heat oil in a saucepan over a medium-low heat. Add shallots and saute for about 10 minutes, until soft. Add tomatoes and sugar and stir gently to combine. Increase heat to medium and bring to boil, then reduce to low, cover and simmer for 20 minutes.