Classic Baba Ganoush

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking. Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection. What is baba ganoush? Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata. What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.

Baba ganoush

Baba ganoush lovers, unite! This creamy dip is a Lebanese classic with a smoky finish to the flavor that makes it absolutely irresistible for dipping. Turns out, it’s actually very simple to make at home, and a fabulous eggplant recipe for when you’re brainstorming what to do with this vegetable. This specific baba ganoush recipe comes straight from the book Tables and Spreads by Shelly Westerhausen Worcel of Vegetarian Ventures. It’s an incredible collection to help you nosh your way entertaining and happy hour! Here’s how to make it: and more about this fantastic collection.

Tables and spreads
Keep reading for more about Tables & Spreads — recipe excerpted from the book with permission from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel

What is baba ganoush?

Baba ganoush is a Lebanese eggplant dip made with roasted or grilled eggplant, tahini, olive oil, and lemon. It’s also spelled Baba ghanoush or baba ghanouj. It’s common in cuisines all over the Mediterranean, but it’s Lebanese in origin. While many Greek restaurants serve baba ganoush, the Greek version of eggplant dip is melitzanosalata.

What makes baba ganoush taste smoky? Traditionally baba ganoush is made with eggplant that’s been roasted over a fire or grilled, which infuses a light smoky flavor. The easiest way to make it at home is roasted, so here we’ve added smoked paprika for a hint of the smoke we expect from a baba ganoush recipe!

How to make baba ganoush at home

Now, the best baba ganoush you can have is from a Lebanese restaurant! It’s hard to capture the beauty of this traditional eggplant dip at home. But you can get pretty close! Again, the traditional grilled method is what really takes it over the top (see below). But Shelly’s method from Tables and Spreads is simply delicious and easy to pull off. Just make sure to have enough time to roast or grill the eggplant! Here are the basic steps (or jump to the recipe):

  • Roast or grill the eggplant: This takes about 30 minutes total. On the grill, it depends on the size of the eggplant (see below).
  • Remove the flesh from the skin. Quick tip: to remove bitterness, you can remove some of the very seedy parts of the eggplant when you do this.
  • Food process with the other ingredients. Add tahini, lemon, garlic and spices and blend. We like adding a bit of smoked paprika to get in that smoky flavor.
  • Serve! Then top with all the garnishes: olive oil, walnuts, smoked paprika, parsley, etc! The book has a delicious fried walnuts and pomegranate seeds topping idea (head here to learn more about the book).
Baba ganoush

Alternate method: grilled whole eggplant!

The most traditional way to make a baba ganoush recipe is with eggplant charred over an open flame. The best way to do this is with a grill! Here are a few things to note about making a grilled whole eggplant:

  • Grill it whole over medium high heat. That’s 375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Cook until collapsed and charred, about 25 to 45 minutes depending on the size of the eggplant. Once you’re done, you can pick back up at the blending step.

About the book: Tables & Spreads!

This baba ganoush recipe comes straight from Shelly Westerhausen Worcel’s beautiful new book, Tables & Spreads. The cover claims it’s a go-to guide for beautiful snacks, intimate gathering and inviting feasts: and is it ever! It’s filled with Shelly’s brilliantly colorful photography style (which we adore) and full of incredible ideas for entertaining spreads. Now that we can all gather again, it’s a perfect manual for

Shelly is a dear friend of ours we’ve known for years: so not only do we vouch for her recipes, we know first hand that she’s an overall incredible human, too. The spreads that she puts together are inventive, unique, and perfect for creative at-home entertaining. And just so you know: you don’t have to share them with friends either! There are plenty of ideas for a happy hour dinner in (a fun concept everyone enjoys over here!). Congrats to Shelly on this fantastic collection!

Baba ganoush recipe

What to use for dipping baba ganoush

What to serve with baba ganoush? There are many foods you can use for dipping: but we have a few favorites. Then of course, there’s how to accessorize your spread! The book has this recipe as part of a Falafel Mezze Spread that includes a few items below. Here’s what to try:

  • Pita bread: Doughy, stretchy warm pita bread is the ultimate dipper (try our flatbread)
  • Pita chips: Or, use the crunchy version (here’s a homemade recipe)
  • Falafel: Try our falafel or the falafel patties recipe from the book
  • Israeli couscous with herbs and olive oil (see the book)
  • Greek yogurt mixed with olive oil and fresh herbs (see the book)
  • Vegetables: Cherry tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, red onion, roasted red peppers

Storing leftovers and make ahead info

You can store leftover homemade baba ganoush refrigerated for up to 3 days. We think it’s best made freshly or within the first day. We did notice that during storage over a few days, the baba ganoush started to discolor. If you’re making it for entertaining, we’d suggest to roast the eggplant in advance and keep it whole: then blend up the dip prior to serving.

This baba ganoush recipe is…

Baba ganoush is vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Baba ganoush

Classic Baba Ganoush


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (5 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

This baba ganoush recipe is so creamy and delicious! A classic Mediterranean dip, it’s perfect for appetizer spreads or healthy snacking.


Ingredients

  • 2 pounds eggplant (1 large or 2 medium)
  • 3 tablespoons tahini
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 large or 2 small garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, loosely packed
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • For the topping: Olive oil, chopped walnuts, pomegranate seeds, torn parsley leaves, smoked paprika, etc

Instructions

  1. Roast the eggplant*: Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil or parchment paper. Poke the eggplant all over with a fork to speed up the cooking process and put it on the prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes or until the eggplant is easily pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool. 
  2. Blend the baba ganoush: Once the eggplant is cool enough to handle, slice the eggplant in half and scrape out the insides into a food processor fitted with the blade attachment, removing large portions of seeds as you can (this minimizes any bitterness from the seeds). Add the tahini, lemon juice, garlic, parsley, salt, cumin and smoked paprika. Process until smooth, about 30 seconds. With the motor running, pour in the olive oil and process for another 30 seconds or until light and fluffy. 
  3. Serve: Transfer the dip to a serving bowl and top with desired toppings. Serve with pita chips or pita bread. Leftovers store up to 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Allow to come to room temperature when serving. 

Notes

*Traditionally eggplant for baba ganoush is grilled, which infuses a distinct smoky flavor. Preheat a grill to medium-high heat (375 to 450 degrees Fahrenheit). Place the eggplant directly on the grill grates and grill for about 25 to 45 minutes, turning occasionally, until charred and tender and the eggplant shape collapses. Then go to step 2. 

  • Category: Appetizer
  • Method: Blended
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean

Keywords: Baba ganoush, Baba ganoush recipe

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches

These Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches are an easy vegetarian dish with plenty of options for customizing to fit your tastes and budget.

The post Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I had a craving for a grilled eggplant sandwich the other day but 1) I don’t have a grill and 2) that sounded like a lot of work, so I made this quick skillet version instead. The resulting Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches are a “meaty” combo of sautéed eggplant drenched with marinara sauce, piled high onto a garlic butter toasted bun, then topped off with melty mozzarella cheese. YES PLEASE.

Three Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches on a wooden board

What to Serve with Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches

These eggplant sandwiches are pretty filling, so I would pair them with something super simple, like a very basic side salad (greens + vinaigrette) to kind of lighten up the plate. Or, if you want something more vegetable-packed, they would be awesome with Marinated Cauliflower Salad, Roasted Asparagus and Tomatoes, Garlic Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower, or Simple Sautéed Vegetables.

Sandwich Sizes and Servings

This recipe makes about 3-4 sandwiches, depending on the size of your eggplant and the size of your rolls or buns. I used hoagie buns that were about 6 inches in length and an eggplant that was about 8-inches long and I was able to make three large sandwiches. If you were to use round rolls, you’d probably get four piled-high sandwiches.

How to Store Leftovers

These sandwiches definitely need to be consumed right when they’re assembled, so if you’re in a smaller household that won’t be eating all three or four sandwiches at once, make sure to store the components separately. Keep the sautéed eggplant with red sauce in its own container and reheat either in a skillet or in the microwave. Butter and toast your bread just before assembly, then add the eggplant and cheese, and briefly heat to melt the cheese.

Mozzarella Options

I used fresh mozzarella because it melts so beautifully and I can get it for a decent price. If fresh mozzarella is not available or not available at a reasonable price, you can use shredded mozzarella instead. Full-fat mozzarella will always melt better than part-skim, but part-skim will work in a pinch.

three eggplant mozzarella sandwiches in a line, angled away from the camera
front view of one eggplant mozzarella sandwich

Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches

Total Cost $6.41 recipe / $2.14 each
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 3 to 4 sandwiches
Calories 455kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 eggplant (8" length) $1.49
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided $0.32
  • 2 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 tsp Italian seasoning $0.10
  • 1 cup marinara sauce $0.50
  • 1/2 tsp salt $0.02
  • 4 rolls $1.53
  • 1 Tbsp butter $0.11
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 4 oz. mozzarella $2.00

Instructions

  • Cube the eggplant into ½-inch cubes. Mince the garlic.
  • Heat 2 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes, then add the cubed eggplant and Italian seasoning. Continue to sauté until the eggplant is soft (5-7 minutes).
  • Add the marinara sauce to the skillet with the eggplant, stir to combine, then heat through (3-5 minutes). Taste and season with salt (about ½ tsp).
  • Preheat the boiler on your oven and make sure the oven rack is positioned in the middle. Combine the second 2 Tbsp olive oil with the butter and garlic powder. Microwave for 15-30 seconds to melt the butter, then stir to combine.
  • Place the buns on a baking sheet, cut sides up. Brush the butter and olive oil mixture over the cut surfaces of the rolls. Bake under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until they are just barely golden brown (watch them closely as broilers can vary).
  • After removing the rolls from the oven, switch the setting from broil to bake (350ºF). Pile the eggplant mixture onto the toasted rolls, then top with mozzarella. Return the sandwiches to the hot oven and bake for about 5 minutes more, or until the mozzarella is melted. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1sandwich | Calories: 455kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 14g | Fat: 26g | Sodium: 1110mg | Fiber: 6g
front view of one eggplant mozzarella sandwich

How to Make Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches – Step by Step Photos

Cubed eggplant

Cube one eggplant into 1/2-inch cubes. Mince two cloves of garlic.

Minced garlic in oil in a skillet

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet and heat over medium. Add the minced garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.

Cubed eggplant in the skillet with Italian seasoning

Add the cubed eggplant and 1 tsp Italian seasoning. Continue to sauté until the eggplant is soft (5-7 minutes).

Marinara sauce being added to sautéed eggplant in the skillet

Once the eggplant is soft, add 1 cup marinara sauce.

Finished eggplant with marinara in the skillet

Stir to combine the eggplant and sauce, then heat through. Taste and season with salt (about ½ tsp).

Garlic butter and oil being brushed onto rolls

Preheat the broiler on your oven and make sure the oven’s rack is in the middle position. Place your buns or rolls on a baking sheet, cut side up. Combine the remaining 2 Tbsp olive oil, 1 Tbsp butter, and ¼ tsp garlic powder. Microwave for 15-30 seconds, or until melted, then stir to combine. Brush the butter and oil mixture over the cut surface of the rolls.

Eggplant mixture being spooned onto toasted rolls

Toast the rolls under the broiler for about 5 minutes, or until they are barely golden brown. Watch them closely, as broilers can vary quite a bit. Once toasted, switch the oven’s setting from broil to bake (350ºF). Spoon the eggplant mixture onto the rolls.

sandwiches topped with mozzarella

Top the eggplant mixture with mozzarella (about 1 oz. per sandwich).

Baked eggplant sandwiches on the baking sheet

Return the sandwiches to the oven and bake for a few minutes more, or until the mozzarella is melted.

Eggplant sandwiches ready to serve

Serve the eggplant mozzarella sandwiches while they’re still hot! (I added a little chopped parsley for color, but it’s not needed for flavor)

three stacked eggplant mozzarella sandwiches on a wooden board

The post Eggplant Mozzarella Sandwiches appeared first on Budget Bytes.

The Ultimate Guide to Summer Vegetables (& 43 Ways to Use Them)

Summer is the CSA basket’s time to shine. That’s why Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons—a seasonal-cooking bible that made our list of the top five books for all things vegetable—considers summer to be three different micro-seasons rolled into one. In that …

Summer is the CSA basket’s time to shine. That’s why Joshua McFadden’s Six Seasons—a seasonal-cooking bible that made our list of the top five books for all things vegetable—considers summer to be three different micro-seasons rolled into one. In that vein, I present to you a guide to summer vegetable cooking (or no-cooking) that’s broken down into early, mid, and late, using the vegetables in McFadden’s iconic cookbook as examples. But by all means, take creative liberties and cook outside the micro-seasons, paying attention to your local climate (and farmers markets). After all, summer is a time for a more relaxed approach to cooking that involves less oven, more salad, and loads of color. Here’s a cheat sheet:

Early Summer: Beets (young), carrots (young), celery, fennel, new potatoes, turnips (young)

Read More >>

Vegetable Terrine

This vegetable terrine is loaded with roasted veggies like eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers – all topped with a homemade garlicky tomato sauce. It makes a great healthy vegan dinner or a show-stopping side dish for a holiday feast. There’s such a b…

This vegetable terrine is loaded with roasted veggies like eggplant, zucchini, and bell peppers - all topped with a homemade garlicky tomato sauce. It makes a great healthy vegan dinner or a show-stopping side dish for a holiday feast. There’s such a big misconception that healthy eating has to be restrictive and boring. But I...

Read More

Easy Vegan Moussaka

This vegan moussaka recipe was a work in progress for weeks until we got the perfected method just right! Layers of roasted eggplant meld perfectly with a hearty tomato lentil filling, which is topped with a show-stopping roasted garlic cashew bechamel…

Easy Vegan Moussaka

This vegan moussaka recipe was a work in progress for weeks until we got the perfected method just right! Layers of roasted eggplant meld perfectly with a hearty tomato lentil filling, which is topped with a show-stopping roasted garlic cashew bechamel.

Flavor is abundant here despite the 10 simple ingredients required. Let us show you how it’s done!

Origins of Moussaka

Moussaka is a popular dish in Greece and beyond.

Easy Vegan Moussaka from Minimalist Baker →

Eggplant Chickpea Tagine

A simple delicious Tagine Recipe with Eggplant and Chickpeas infused with Moroccan spices served over cinnamon-scented couscous. This flavorful Eggplant Chickpea Stew is vegan and gluten-free!  This flavorful Moroccan Stew or “Tagine” is m…

Delicious, Healthy Tagine Recipe with Eggplant and Chickpeas- seasoned with Moroccan spices and served over couscous. A simple plant-based dinner recipe! #tagine

A simple delicious Tagine Recipe with Eggplant and Chickpeas infused with Moroccan spices served over cinnamon-scented couscous. This flavorful Eggplant Chickpea Stew is vegan and gluten-free!  This flavorful Moroccan Stew or “Tagine” is made with chickpeas, caramelized eggplant, and a fragrant Moroccan spice blend called Ras El Hanout. It’s luscious and hearty yet totally plant-based...

The post Eggplant Chickpea Tagine appeared first on Feasting At Home

Best-Ever Eggplant Meatballs

This eggplant meatballs recipe is truly amazing! The purple veggie makes a surprisingly juicy texture and a delightful Italian style dinner. Ever tried making meatballs…with eggplant? We’d been hearing for years that eggplant makes great vegetarian meatballs, we just didn’t really believe it…until now. Try this amazing Eggplant Meatballs recipe! Garlic, herbs, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese make one insanely juicy and savory meatball. Roasted eggplant makes them moist and textured, vs dry or mushy like lots of vegetarian balls. Combine it with marinara sauce and it’s out of this world delicious. In fact, we took one bite and yelled “Wow!” (True story.) Ingredients for eggplant meatballs It’s a short ingredient list here! All you’ll need to make eggplant meatballs is the following: Eggplant: you’ll need 2 pounds; 3 medium or 2 large (it’s helpful to weigh out exactly at the store! Garlic Jarred sundried tomatoes Italian panko: Panko are large, fluffy breadcrumbs. You’ll need to locate the Italian version, which has added salt and herbs. See below for more! Grated Parmesan cheese: Make sure it’s the powdery stuff: not shredded, which looks like little sticks! Salt and pepper What’s Italian panko? Is there a substitute? Panko is a flaky bread […]

A Couple Cooks – Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

This eggplant meatballs recipe is truly amazing! The purple veggie makes a surprisingly juicy texture and a delightful Italian style dinner.

Eggplant meatballs

Ever tried making meatballs…with eggplant? We’d been hearing for years that eggplant makes great vegetarian meatballs, we just didn’t really believe it…until now. Try this amazing Eggplant Meatballs recipe! Garlic, herbs, breadcrumbs and Parmesan cheese make one insanely juicy and savory meatball. Roasted eggplant makes them moist and textured, vs dry or mushy like lots of vegetarian balls. Combine it with marinara sauce and it’s out of this world delicious. In fact, we took one bite and yelled “Wow!” (True story.)

Ingredients for eggplant meatballs

It’s a short ingredient list here! All you’ll need to make eggplant meatballs is the following:

  • Eggplant: you’ll need 2 pounds; 3 medium or 2 large (it’s helpful to weigh out exactly at the store!
  • Garlic
  • Jarred sundried tomatoes
  • Italian panko: Panko are large, fluffy breadcrumbs. You’ll need to locate the Italian version, which has added salt and herbs. See below for more!
  • Grated Parmesan cheese: Make sure it’s the powdery stuff: not shredded, which looks like little sticks!
  • Salt and pepper
Eggplant meatballs recipe

What’s Italian panko? Is there a substitute?

Panko is a flaky bread crumb mixture used in Japanese cooking for fried foods. It’s also made its way into international cooking because it’s the perfect breading and frying. Italian panko are made with seasonings and salt. Panko is available in most grocery stores and online. You can also find gluten-free panko or Italian panko online, to make this a gluten free recipe! If you can’t find Italian panko, here’s what to do:

  • Use regular panko and add salt and Italian seasonings. See the recipe below for quantities.
  • Look for coarse breadcrumbs instead, or make them! Some purchased breadcrumbs have very fine texture, which isn’t as ideal (but you can still use them). Italian breadcrumbs have the salt and herbs added, so they are a good substitute. If all you can find is plain, use the salt and herbs from the recipe below as well.
Eggplant meatballs

Roast the eggplant small diced, skin on (here’s why!)

The key to these eggplant meatballs is this. Roast the eggplant chopped very small, then mash it with a potato masher before forming the balls. Here’s why:

  • Roasting with the eggplant skin on makes the very best juicy, meaty texture that’s incredibly satisfying. You’ll have some chunks in the meatballs: but that’s good!
  • Using a food processor or blender or removing the eggplant skin makes a texture that’s gooey rather than meaty: not nearly as delicious. Speaking of…

A few tips on forming eggplant meatballs

These eggplant meatballs have lots of texture to the dough, which can make forming them a little different than say, falafel. Here are a few tips on the forming process:

  • Include the eggplant skin right into the the balls: try to evenly disperse them throughout each meatball.
  • You can also discard a few of the skin pieces if it’s hard to form the balls. But again, the skins and chewy parts are what you need for a meaty, interesting texture: so don’t worry that it’s not a smooth dough!
Eggplant meatballs recipe

You’ll need about 1 hour: or they’re great for make-ahead!

Keep in mind: in total, this eggplant meatballs recipe takes about 1 hour to make. We’re obsessed with fast and easy recipes around here, as you may know. But guess what: this recipe is so good, it’s absolutely worth the 1 hour prep time! Here’s what to know about planning and meal prep to make it fit into your lifestyle:

  • Eggplant meatballs save very well: you can refrigerate or freeze! If you can make them ahead, it makes dinner time a breeze! Store them refrigerated for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 3 months, stored in a single layer in a freezer safe container.
  • To reheat, simply warm them in a skillet with marinara. That’s it! So easy.
  • Or, make them on a weekend or when time allows. If you have the time, it’s a perfect recipe for a Saturday or Sunday dinner.

Make it a meal: main dish, pasta, and more!

Take one bite of these eggplant meatballs and you’ll be amazed by the amount of flavor going on with these babies. Don’t even think of them as a vegetarian meatball: they’re just DELICIOUS. Now, you don’t need to serve them with pasta: but you can. The only thing that’s required is the marinara sauce (use your favorite jar). Here are a few ways you can eat these eggplant meatballs:

How would you serve them? Let us know in the comments below!

Eggplant meatballs

This eggplant meatballs recipe is…

Vegetarian. For gluten-free, use gluten-free panko.

Print
Eggplant meatballs

Best-Ever Eggplant Meatballs


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (6 votes, average: 5.00 out of 5)

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 20 meatballs (4 servings)
  • Diet: Vegetarian

Description

This eggplant meatballs recipe is truly amazing! The purple veggie makes a surprisingly juicy texture and a delightful Italian style dinner.


Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 pounds eggplant (3 medium or 2 large, about 12 cups diced into 1/2-inch pieces)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon jarred sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 1 1/4 cups Italian panko (use gluten free as needed)*
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese (not shredded)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For serving, 1 large jar marinara sauce, 8 to 12 ounces spaghetti or bucatini pasta or zucchini noodles

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the eggplant into 1/2-inch chunks by slicing 1/2-inch rings and then cutting the rings into cubes. The size of dice is important for the final texture! (If you weren’t able to weigh the eggplant, measure out 12 cups 1/2-inch diced). 
  3. In a large bowl, quickly mix the eggplant with olive oil and kosher salt (the eggplant soaks up the oil in an instant, so mix as soon as you add it!). Pour the eggplant onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and spread it into an even layer.
  4. Roast for 25 minutes, then stir and roast 10 minutes more until browned and very tender. Remove and reduce the oven heat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. 
  5. Add the warm eggplant to a bowl and mash it with a potato masher until chunky and mostly mashed. Stir in the minced garlic, finely chopped sundried tomatoes, Italian panko and grated Parmesan cheese. Taste and add any salt to taste (we added only 1 pinch; remember that the marinara sauce will also add flavor after baking).
  6. Use your hands to form the dough into 20 balls. You’ll include the eggplant skin right into the the balls: try to evenly disperse them throughout each meatball.  You can also discard a few of the skins if it’s hard to form the balls. But the skins and chewy parts are what you need for a meaty, interesting texture: so don’t worry that it’s not a smooth dough! See the photos above. 
  7. Place the meatballs on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake 18 to 20 minutes until lightly browned on top and very browned on the bottom. Allow to cool for 5 minutes, or longer if desired (the balls will firm up). At this point, you can serve immediately, refrigerate for 1 week or freeze for up to 3 months (in a single layer in a freezer safe container). While the meatballs bake, you can boil the pasta or prep the zucchini noodles. 
  8. To serve, add the marinara sauce to a skillet and add the meatballs in a single layer. Heat for 1 to 2 minutes until warmed. Serve over the noodles, then top with grated Parmesan cheese (and chopped fresh basil, if desired). You can also serve as a vegetarian main dish with a few sides, like broccoli and couscous, rice or quinoa.

Notes

*We recommend Italian panko for the best results. If all you can find is regular panko, use 1 1/4 cups regular panko, mixed with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 2 tablespoons Italian seasoning (or 1 tablespoon dried oregano and 1/2 tablespoon each dried basil and thyme). If you can’t find panko at all, you can substitute coarse breadcrumbs — the texture of store-bought is very fine, so chunkier homemade breadcrumbs are ideal (but you can use either). Italian breadcrumbs work in a pinch; adjust the salt to taste. If you eat gluten-free, you can find gluten-free panko online.

  • Category: Main dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Italian inspired

Keywords: Eggplant meatballs, eggplant meatballs recipe

More eggplant recipes

Eggplant is one unexpectedly delicious vegetable, when you cook it correctly! Here are some more eggplant recipes to try:

A Couple Cooks - Healthy, Whole Food, & Vegetarian Recipes

Classic Moussaka Recipe

Classic Moussaka Recipe
Moussaka is a Greek casserole dish similar to lasagna, with layers of potatoes, eggplant, spiced beef, and topped with bechamel sauce.
READ: Classic Moussaka Recipe

Classic Moussaka Recipe

Moussaka is a Greek casserole dish similar to lasagna, with layers of potatoes, eggplant, spiced beef, and topped with bechamel sauce.

READ: Classic Moussaka Recipe

Pasta alla Norma

We’re going back to Sicily! Pasta alla Norma is a delicious Sicilian pasta dish with eggplant, marinara and basil. I’m excited to introduce you to this dish…

The post Pasta alla Norma appeared first on Cookie and Kate.

pasta alla norma recipe

We’re going back to Sicily! Pasta alla Norma is a delicious Sicilian pasta dish with eggplant, marinara and basil. I’m excited to introduce you to this dish because it is a completely satisfying vegetarian dinner. I’m craving a bowl as I type.

Most pasta alla Norma recipes are made with fried eggplant, but this recipe features roasted eggplant. Eggplant really absorbs oil like a sponge, so this lightens up the dish. Another plus? Roasting eggplant is easier and less messy.

I further lightened this classic recipe by using more eggplant and less pasta, so this dish won’t put you to sleep. It’s nice and saucy, just the way I like it.

pasta alla norma ingredients

I don’t speak Italian, so I first assumed that “norma” meant eggplant. Not the case! Norma is capitalized because she’s a lady. Or an opera, depending on how you look at it.

Here’s the backstory: Pasta alla Norma comes from Catania, a city on the eastern coast of Sicily. Catania is the hometown of Vincenzo Bellini, an Italian opera composer who lived in the early 1800s. One of Bellini’s most famous operas, Norma, is named after its lead character.

Folklore has it that playwright Nino Martoglio, after his first bite of this pasta dish, exclaimed, “Chista è ‘na vera Norma!” (“This is a true Norma!”) That’s quite a compliment.

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Caponata

Let’s make homemade caponata! This classic Sicilian appetizer or side dish is perfect for late summer meals. This recipe combines roasted (not fried) eggplant with sautéed bell…

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caponata with roasted eggplant

Let’s make homemade caponata! This classic Sicilian appetizer or side dish is perfect for late summer meals. This recipe combines roasted (not fried) eggplant with sautéed bell pepper, celery, tomatoes, olives and capers. Red wine vinegar and honey make it irresistibly tangy and sweet. If you generally enjoy these bold flavors, you’re going to love caponata.

Since international travel is largely off the table, I’ve been traveling vicariously through my food. This caponata is the perfect example. I’ve yet to make my way to Sicily to sample authentic caponata, but learning to make this dish has deepened my desire to explore the island. Mark my words, I’ll get there someday.

caponata ingredients

Caponata recipes vary from region to region and household to household. This recipe is where I landed. I took some cooking cues from my ratatouille recipe, which also features roasted eggplant stirred into a simmering tomato sauce. Caponata’s flavors are even deeper and more complex largely due to the intense agrodolce factor, or the interplay between sweet (honey and raisins) and sour (vinegar and capers).

I can’t claim this recipe is entirely authentic, but I hope it offers you a little taste of Sicily.

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