My lurvely sister shared this recipe with me years ago, and I’m still making it today! She shared it with me from The Mediterranean Vegan Kitchen.
**Note, I usually serve this over couscous but I was flat out. Therefore, in a pinch, yellow rice was quite good!
- 2 eggplants (about 1 lb each), halved lengthwise
- 2 tbsp plus 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1 cup soft unseasoned bread crumbs (if you have this– COOL! Otherwise, regular breadcrumbs will be fine)
- 1 cup packed basil leaves, shredded (while you can get away with dried here, fresh basil really does make a huge difference in this recipe)
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 tsp coarse salt
- pinch cayenne pepper
- black pepper
- about 1 ½ cups dry unseasoned bread crumbs
- 1 tsp dried oregao
- 2 cups tomato sauce (homemade or bought, whatever you like)
- couscous (to serve croquettes and sauce over)
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees F. Rub the cut sides of the eggplant halves with 1 tsp oil. Place cut side down on a large ungreased baking sheet (I put a lightly greased aluminum foil sheet down for less mess/cleanup). Prick the skin in several places with the tines of a fork. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the skin is beginning to shrivel. Place on several layers of paper town to drain.
- When cool enough to handle, remove the skin from the eggplant and transfer the flesh to a food processor fitted with the knife blade. Add the soft breadcrumbs, basil, garlic, coarse salt, cayenne, and black pepper. Process with on/off motions until smooth but not quite pureed. Transfer to a medium bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least one hour. (I cheat and put it in the freezer for a shorter time to speed it up sometimes…)
- Preheat oven to 400 F. Lightly oil a baking sheet and set aside.
- In a small bowl, combine dry bread crumbs with oregano. Shape the chilled eggplant mixture into twelve balls. Dip each ball in the dry bread crumb mixture. Using the palms of your hands, shape each ball into a loosely packed patty and place on the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops evenly with 1 tbsp of the oil (so it will brown). Bake for 10 minutes, or until nicely browned.
- Serve hot with couscous and pour warmed tomato sauce on top!