Appetizers,  Awards,  Dinner,  Vegetarian

Eggplant Meatballs…and an Award!

I almost titled this Award Winning Eggplant Meatballs but aside from the fact that they do taste awesome, the award was not presented to me because of my meatballs.  John from the Bartolini Kitchens hasn’t tasted my meatballs but did think enough of my blog to include me in his five pics to forward on the Liebster Award!   While I cook mostly Italian and recipes from my mother, John has the real deal, Italian family recipes that always bring back so many memories to me!  Reading his posts on his family and traditions brings a smile to my face and that month of ice cream making had me wishing I was his neighbor!!

I was a bit intrigued on what this Liebster Award was about and googling it I found out that it orginated in German.  It was designed to bring recognition to those that are nominated and I’m assuming as the word means “beloved” that those blogs selected are loved by their readers!   At least that’s where I’m going on this when I select those blogs I love.  But then again, that’s not going to be easy as I do love reading
so many and if I don’t list your blog, it’s not that I don’t love you!!! Just that I can only pick 5!!

So, here are my five and I could certainly pick so many more…

Sweet and Crumbly

Rufus’ Food and Spirit Guide 

Tales of Ambrosia

Smart Food and Fit

Ginger Coutier

And, now here’s the eggplant meatballs that are winners in my home!  Roasted eggplant, garlic, bread crumbs and parsley processed together to form the most moist and tender meatballs!  Calling these “meat” balls is misleading but it gets the point across as to what this is.  I’ll never give up my traditional meatballs, but when I’m looking for a vegetarian version this is my go to choice.  Instead of using the breadcrumbs, pureed cannellini beans can be substituted.

Eggplant MeatBalls

1 large eggplant, peeled and cubed

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

2-3 tablespoons olive oil

1 roasted garlic

1 egg, beaten

1/4 – 1/3 cup bread crumbs

1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley or basil

Marinara Sauce for serving

Place the eggplant cubes in a colander, sprinkle with salt and leave to stand for at least 30 minutes.  Rinse and pat dry.  Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Mix the eggplant cubes with olive oil and salt and pepper.  Roast the eggplant on a large baking sheet for about 30-40 minutes or until lightly brown and creamy.  Remove and refrigerate overnight  if desired or proceed with the recipe.  Combine the eggplant and remaining ingredients (except Marinara Sauce in a food processor and lightly process allowing the mixture to be creamy but still slightly thick.  Shape into a golf ball size.  They can be either fried or
baked.  I prefer to bake on a rack lined baking sheet at 350 degrees for 20 minutes, turning once.  They should brown slightly but remain creamy inside.  Serve with marinara sauce and freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Makes about 12, depending on size.

I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.


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