These “meatballs” are made with roasted eggplant mixed with sauteed shiitake mushrooms and quinoa, then cooked in oil to give them a crispy coating.
Recipe courtesy of Stefanie of Sarcastic Cooking.
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounce shiitake mushrooms, cleaned, stems removed and diced
- ¾ cup quinoa
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 large egg
- 1 egg white
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, grated
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- Pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon chopped basil
- 1 teaspoon chopped parsley
- Vegetable oil, for frying
- Marinara sauce
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Using a fork, prick holes all over the eggplant. Place eggplant on a baking sheet and roast it in the oven for an hour, until the eggplant collapses/shrivels. While the eggplant roasts, cook the quinoa and mushrooms.
- In a small pot, bring 1 ½ cups of water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cover with lid. Let cook for about 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, uncover and fluff with a fork.
- In a small skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat for a minute. Add mushrooms to skillet and sauté for 7-10 minutes until golden.
- Once the eggplant is cooled, slice in half length-wise. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh. Give it a chop and discard the eggplant skin. Add eggplant, quinoa and mushrooms to a medium mixing bowl.
- Mix in the egg, egg white, Parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, basil and parsley. Mix well.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment/wax paper. Form the shiitake/eggplant mixture into large balls. Place on the lined baking sheet. Place the sheet with all the “meatballs” in the refrigerator for 20 minutes while you heat the oil.
- Fill a large, heavy-bottomed skillet about ¼ of the way up with vegetable oil. Heat oil over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes.
- Remove the “meatballs” from the fridge, add four to the hot oil at a time. Fry the balls, turning occasionally, for 8-10 minutes until golden on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, add to a plate lined with paper towels to drain. Fry the next batch in the same way.
- Serve the “meatballs” with marinara sauce and your favorite pasta.