Eggplant Polpettone

Eggplant polpettone are absolutely delicious, versatile too! Baked instead of fried, they are a super light veggie substitute for almost any meatball dish. The mix can even be baked like a meatloaf. Try them as an appetizer dipped in Greek yogurt and drizzled with good olive oil, on a salad of dark greens, or as a crowd pleaser over pasta, tossed with Easy Tomato Sauce. They’re good every which way. #cookfromthebook

AuthorAnn Gaffney
RatingDifficultyBeginner

Looking for veggie substitute for meatballs? Eggplant polpettone are for you! They can be used in any meatball recipe.

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Eggplant Polpettone
Yields4 Servings
Prep Time25 minsCook Time45 minsTotal Time1 hr 10 mins
 2 Italian eggplants
 ½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
 1 egg, lightly beaten
 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
 ¾ tsp sea salt
 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
 Freshly ground black pepper to taste(optional)
 ½ cup almond flour
 1 cup wholewheat breadcrumbs or gluten free breadcrumbs(See Ann's Tips)
 6 tbsp grated Pecorino cheese, or to taste
1

Turn on the oven to broil.
Cover a broiling pan with aluminum foil Set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside

2

Cut the stalk end off the eggplants and score them a couple of times down each side and transfer to the covered broiling pan. Place on a low shelf under the broiler. Turning from time to time, broil the eggplants about 30 minutes, or until they are soft and the skin is charred all over. Set aside to cool. Lower the oven to bake at 400F.

3

Once cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh out onto a board and finely chop, making sure not to get any charred skin in the flesh.

4

Take a balloon whisk, and in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggplant, ricotta, egg, olive oil, salt, rosemary, garlic, plus a grind or two of black pepper until well combined and smooth.

5

Drizzle the reserved baking sheet with the olive oil. Set aside.

6

With a spatula fold the almond flour, breadcrumbs and pecorino into the eggplant mixture until you have a stiff yet soft and sticky paste. Using your hands, roll the paste into 1-inch balls arranging them on the prepared sheet in a single layer as you go.

7

Bake the polpettone for 15 minutes on a center shelf. Turn the balls over and bake 10 minutes more, or until they are completely golden. Serve as desired.

Ann's Tips
8

-Instead of broiling the eggplant, you can either cook it on the grill or place it on a hot baking sheet and bake on a high shelf in a hot 450°F oven.
-For gluten free, use your favorite gluten free bread or breadcrumbs. To make your own breadcrumbs cube stale whole-grain bread ( I use the leftover heels), and pulse in the food processor until you have fine breadcrumbs. Store leftovers in the freezer, where they will keep indefinitely.
-Lastly, these will feed 4 as a main meal but will serve 6-8 as an appetizer,

Ingredients

 2 Italian eggplants
 ½ cup fresh ricotta cheese
 1 egg, lightly beaten
 1 tbsp Extra virgin olive oil
 ¾ tsp sea salt
 2 large cloves of garlic, minced
 Freshly ground black pepper to taste(optional)
 ½ cup almond flour
 1 cup wholewheat breadcrumbs or gluten free breadcrumbs(See Ann's Tips)
 6 tbsp grated Pecorino cheese, or to taste

Directions

1

Turn on the oven to broil.
Cover a broiling pan with aluminum foil Set aside. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside

2

Cut the stalk end off the eggplants and score them a couple of times down each side and transfer to the covered broiling pan. Place on a low shelf under the broiler. Turning from time to time, broil the eggplants about 30 minutes, or until they are soft and the skin is charred all over. Set aside to cool. Lower the oven to bake at 400F.

3

Once cool enough to handle, scrape the flesh out onto a board and finely chop, making sure not to get any charred skin in the flesh.

4

Take a balloon whisk, and in a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggplant, ricotta, egg, olive oil, salt, rosemary, garlic, plus a grind or two of black pepper until well combined and smooth.

5

Drizzle the reserved baking sheet with the olive oil. Set aside.

6

With a spatula fold the almond flour, breadcrumbs and pecorino into the eggplant mixture until you have a stiff yet soft and sticky paste. Using your hands, roll the paste into 1-inch balls arranging them on the prepared sheet in a single layer as you go.

7

Bake the polpettone for 15 minutes on a center shelf. Turn the balls over and bake 10 minutes more, or until they are completely golden. Serve as desired.

Ann's Tips
8

-Instead of broiling the eggplant, you can either cook it on the grill or place it on a hot baking sheet and bake on a high shelf in a hot 450°F oven.
-For gluten free, use your favorite gluten free bread or breadcrumbs. To make your own breadcrumbs cube stale whole-grain bread ( I use the leftover heels), and pulse in the food processor until you have fine breadcrumbs. Store leftovers in the freezer, where they will keep indefinitely.
-Lastly, these will feed 4 as a main meal but will serve 6-8 as an appetizer,

Eggplant Polpettone

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