vegetarian meatballs

prep time:  1 hour
cook time:  25 minutes
servings:  about 4 dozen meatballs

1 cup plain bread crumbs
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
zest of 1 lemon
1/2 cup finely chopped parsley
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 teaspoon dried basil
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 large eggplant - unpeeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
2 1/2 teaspoons salt
3 cloves garlic - minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 egg - beaten

1.  in a bowl combine the bread crumbs, paremesan, lemon zest, parsley, oregano and basil.  set aside.

2.  heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  add the onion, eggplant and salt.  stir to coat with oil.  cook, stirring occastionally, utnil soft, 8 - 10 minutes.

3.  remove from heat and add garlic and tomato paste.  trnsfer half the mixture to a food processor and blend until smooth.  stir together eggplant mixture with puree, bread crumb mixture and egg in a large bowl.

4.  preheat oven to 350 degrees.  generously coat hands with oil and form mixture into 1 1/2-inch balls.  place on a baking sheet 1/2 inch apart.  continue to coat hand with olil to form balls.  bake for 25 - 30 minutes.

- ladies' home journal, march 2011

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