I’m a sucker for a good meatball, and I know everyone has their own meatball recipes with their own little twist. But does everyone have their own Eggplant Polpette recipe?
Eggplant Polpette, just as they sound, are meatless meatballs made entirely from eggplants. I’d like to consider them the Meatball’s cousin, because they use pretty much all the same ingredients (plus some) as a traditional meatball but with eggplant instead of meat. They’re tender, fluffy, and packed with so much flavor, you’ll never know they’re completely meatless.
First thing first - shopping for eggplants can be tricky. You want to make sure each eggplant is free from any scars, bruising, or discoloring…seems pretty obvious, right? But you also want to pick up the eggplants and make sure that they’re firm and have some weight to them. This is pretty much true for a lot of fruits (yes I’m getting a little technical here since they’re considered botanical fruits), such as tomatoes and bell peppers.
Because eggplants contain a lot of water, you want to peel and cut the eggplant into 1 inch pieces, season with salt, and then roast them in a 400º oven for about 40 minutes. You’ll get most of the moisture (but not all) out of the eggplants. Once they’re done roasting, you want to mash the eggplant with a fork to eliminate any large chunks.