Hello from Maryland! So hubby and I have rather successfully made the move from VA to MD – with only one broken glass and one broken mug (so far). My kitchen is mostly unpacked and ready to go, and with that I’m hoping to actually cook or bake something in there later today. This recipe comes from when I was staying at my mom’s house after reading more than a few articles from the Washington Post and other sites discussing eggplant “meatballs”. After comparing a few of them I decided to go with a vegan baked version, which turned out perfectly.
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, divided
1.5 lbs Italian Eggplant,peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic, diced
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 tsp basil (or 4 fresh basil leaves)
1/4 tsp thyme (or 1 fresh sprig)
- Meanwhile heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large saute dish, add the garlic cloves and cook for 2 minutes then add the peeled eggplant and cook for an additional 7 minutes or until soft. Pour all ingredients in to a blender and allow to slightly cool. Add the breadcrumbs and spices along with the remaining olive oil and start to blend the mixture on a puree or similar setting. The goal is to get to "ground meat" consistency - add more breadcrumbs/olive oil as needed.
- Allow to sit for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 375 and lightly oil and a standard sized muffin tin or cookie sheet.
- Form eggplant meatball, each should be about 4 inches around, and then lightly place in a muffin spot or on the cookie sheet. Continue until all meatballs are formed, should be 8 - 10. Bake for 15 minutes, then rotate the eggplant balls, and finish by baking for a final 10 minutes or until slightly brown.
- Serve as part of a "meatball" sub or on top of pasta!
I’m sending this over the /52weeksofcooking for there $10 challenge. For four servings this dish cost: $2.63 (eggplant), $0.79 (pasta), $0.55 (garlic) for a total of $3.97. I’m adding an additional $2.00 to that total to account for the premade tomato sauce, fresh herbs, and the homemade bread crumbs using homemade bread – probably a higher guess than it actually is but math is not my thing. This brings to the total to $5.97 or just under $1.50 a serving – mission accomplished!