Ric Orlando's Vegetarian Eggplant Balls (Standard and Gluten Free Versions)

Ric Orlando's Vegetarian Eggplant Balls (Standard and Gluten Free Versions)
Wow. These eggplant balls were chosen to represent the Berkshire/Hudson/Capital/
Central NY area in the US Foods Next Top Product contest!

They are very old school, much the same as my mother's–and her mother's–bready Neapolitan meatballs. Braise them in simple red sauce with pasta, make a sub with lots of mozz, slice them onto pizza or salad, served with tzatziki...the possibilities are endless!

(Oh yes, and want them gluten free? We got you! Just use Gluten Free Crumbs)

Makes about 24 delectable eggplant balls

2 tablespoons salt
4 large eggplants , peeled, stem removed,  and cut into quarters lengthwise
2 cups panko bread crumbs or more if needed
2 eggs
1/2 cup  grated Pecorino romano cheese
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 bunch Italian parsley, chopped to yield 1/4 cup
2 tsp dry oregano
pinch crushed red pepper to taste
1/2 cup sunflower or other neutral flavoredvegetable oil.

Bring 8 quarts of water to a boil and add 4 tablespoons salt. Add the eggplants and boil until soft, about 10 minutes.

 Remove the eggplants from the water and drain well, pressing out all of the water.
When the eggplants have cooled, coarsely chop them and place them in the work bowl of a stand mixer.
 Add all other ingredients and mix until the eggplant is broken down completely.
If the mixture is too wet, add a little more panko until it is tight enough to roll into meatballs.
Roll golf ball sized balls and pan fry in hot oil until golden all around.
Bake in a casserole dish smothered with your favorite red sauce, topped with four cheese mjix ( recipe below) or mozzarella.
Ric's 4 Cheese Mix
1/2 cup pecorino romano
1/2 cup crumble gorgonzola
1/2 cup smoked gouda, grated
1/2 cup fontinella or provolone, grated

3 comments:

Daryl Bart said...

I think I have to leave the balls to you and us foods. My mixture looks awesome but hard to manipulate. Trying some in the oven and some on the stove and will taste test.

Anonymous said...

My new favorite recipe. So easy and sooooo delicious!

Anonymous said...

I've made my own version with roasted eggplant instead of boiled.