I wasn't expecting the eggplant filling to be so terrific and filled with such zest - often the eggplant croquettes I've had in the past have either h...
A classic Italian dish with each region providing its own interpretation, we suggest trying them all out and seeing for yourself which recipe you like best. This is a great alternative to traditional meatballs made with ground beef, if you're looking to create new meals following a specific round-shape theme.
Almost like a croquette, this version makes good use of the summer eggplant and tomatoes (you could experiment and try fresh tomatoes instead of the tinned version) - toss a few basil leaves in the dough and sauce for extra summer seasonings.
This is the perfect child-friendly dish for either a main course, appetizer or finger food. If you plan on serving as a main course to your eager friends and loved ones, you'll likely need to increase the recipe amounts to make more generous portion sizes. While the eggplant dough is fairly well-seasoned, you can add some dried Italian seasonings (thyme, rosemary, sage, etc.) into the breadcrumbs you'll use to coat the dough with, and enjoy the extra punch of flavor this trick adds.
for 4 servings
Peel the eggplants and cut them into 3 or 4 mm cubes. In a pan, put oil and a clove of garlic and wait for it to turn a little golden. Remove the garlic and add the eggplant over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes, browning each piece slightly.
If the eggplant starts to stick to the pan, you can add a small splash of water to the pan, but try to avoid adding enough to boil the eggplant. Adjust the seasonings, and add freshly chopped mint.
Remove the crusts from the bread slices and dip the bread in milk. Allow to soak for 5 minutes, then squeeze the slices to remove excess liquid. Add to the eggplants.
Add the grated Parmesan cheese, a lightly beaten egg and mix everything, seasoning with salt and pepper. The mixture should be quite thick.
Cover bottom of small sauté pan with extra-virgin olive oil, and add smashed garlic clove. Allow garlic to take a golden color. Add tomato purée and basil, turn heat to low and cook sauce until it reaches a nice, thick consistency, and all excess liquid has been cooked away. Turn off heat, and allow to cool.
Beat cream and egg white until stiff peaks form, using a blender or hand mixer. Once tomato sauce has cooled, add to whipped cream, folding in to maintain whipped consistency. Adjust to taste with salt & pepper.
Create little balls (meatball-size) with eggplant dough using damp hands to avoid dough sticking. Beat second egg, place into shallow container. Place dried breadcrumbs into shallow plate. Dip each ball rapidly into the egg mixture and then dip into the bread crumbs.
Heat peanut oil over medium-high heat. You can test the heat of the oil by throwing in a few breadcrumbs. If crumbs immediately begin frying and floating, then oil is hot enough. Fry eggplant nuggets until nicely golden brown. (Chef's tip: if you'd like to have a nicely fried eggplant nugget, bread nuggets then place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to frying - once added to the oil, they will maintain their shape and density and produce an excellent fried treat).
Drain eggplant balls on sheet of absorbent kitchen paper, place a bit of tomato sauce in small ceramic dish, put in the middle of the eggplant balls, and serve hot.
60 minutes 10 ingredients 461 kCal
75 minutes 7 ingredients 292 kCal
RyanGio Monday 7th of September 2020
Deceptively light and flavoruful
I wasn't expecting the eggplant filling to be so terrific and filled with such zest - often the eggplant croquettes I've had in the past have either had good texture or good flavor, but never both. I love eggplant, so anything with a new version of a dish that should be excellent but often isn't is something I'm always trying to improve upon - very little room for improvement here since it's a solid good dish to start with. Just added a bit more dried herbs to both breadcrumb exterior and tomato sauce for extra punch (not sure the sauce needed it though).