Eggplant and Shiitake “Meatballs”

These “meatballs” are made with roasted eggplant mixed with sauteed shiitake mushrooms and quinoa, then cooked in oil to give them a crispy coating.

Author: Sarcastic Cooking

Cook Time: 1 hour 35 minutes

What You Need

  • 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

What You Do

  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Mix in the egg, egg white, Parmesan, garlic, salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, basil and parsley. Mix well.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Serve the “meatballs” with marinara sauce and your favorite pasta.