Meatless Monday Eggplant “Meatballs”
Polyphenol’s are micronutrients that are found in colorful plant-based foods. These polyphenol’s are sources of antioxidant properties. Eggplants are very valuable sources of polyphenol, which you can tell by their rich purple exterior. Including eggplants as a staple in your Meatless diet can help protect your cardiovascular system, promote brain health, support blood sugar levels and promote normal blood pressure. Follow the link to try out this recipe out this Meatless Monday!
- cooking spray
- 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 1/4 lbs unpeeled eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
- kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 2 tbsp chopped basil, plus leaves for garnish
- 1 1/2 cups Italian seasoned breadcrumbs
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 2 ounces Pecorino Romano cheese, freshly grated, plus more for serving
- 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 1 25.25 ounce jar DeLallo Pomodoro sauce
- part skim ricotta cheese, for serving (optional)
Heat the oven to 375°F. Spray a large rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray.
Place 1/2 tablespoon olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When hot add the eggplant and 1/4 cup water. Season with salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times.
Transfer to a bowl and add bread crumbs, beaten egg, Romano cheese, parsley, garlic and chopped basil into the eggplant. Season with 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and 1/8 teaspoon of pepper.
Form the eggplant mixture into 24 balls about 1 1/8 oz each, rolling tightly and transfer to the prepared baking sheet. Bake until firm and browned, about 20 to 25 minutes.
Heat the sauce in a large deep skillet to warm the sauce. Add the meatballs to the sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Garnish the meatballs with basil leaves and serve with ricotta cheese if desired.