Eggplant ‘Meat’Balls & Creamy Polenta

These ‘Meat’Balls are so good! I substitute these for beef when I have my vegetarian friends over…using them in sandwiches (think Meatball Subs) and over pasta (think Spaghetti & Meatballs). They’re so full of flavor that they fooled my friends – I personally think they taste way better than beef meatballs! If you haven’t given them a try you definitely should…

Eggplant ‘Meat’Balls & Creamy Polenta
2 eggplants, peeled & diced
2 celery stalks, diced
1 large Vidalia onion, diced
4 garlic gloves, minced
extra virgin olive oil
salt & fresh ground pepper
1/4-1/2 cup vegetable cooking stock
2 tablespoons fresh snipped oregano
2 tablespoons fresh snipped parsley
2 tablespoons fresh snipped basil
2 cups Italian-style Panko crumbs
1 egg
your favorite marinara sauce

Creamy Polenta
1 cup instant Polenta
4 cups vegetable cooking stock
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan

Heat oven to 375°F. Drizzle a little extra virgin olive oil into a large skillet. Sauté the eggplant, celery, & onion 3-5 minutes. Pour in 1/4 cup vegetable cooking stock and sauté another 10-15 minutes until the eggplant and celery are tender and the onions are translucent; adding the additional vegetable stock if needed. Season with 1/2 teaspoon salt and some fresh ground pepper. Place in a large mixing bowl. Add the fresh oregano, parsley, basil, Panko crumbs & egg. Mix to combine. Shape into 20-24 balls. Place on a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper or spread with a touch of extra virgin olive oil. Bake in heated oven 20 minutes; gently turn eggplant ‘meat’balls over and bake an additional 5 minutes until nicely browned. Meanwhile prepare the Creamy Polenta: heat the cooking stock to a boil, add the instant polenta, salt & shredded Parmesan. Lower the heat and simmer a few minutes. Remove from heat and add a pat of butter; swirl in. Heat the marinara sauce. To serve: scoop polenta into bowls; top with Eggplant ‘Meat’Balls and sauce. Sprinkle on additional shredded Parmesan cheese and snipped oregano. Makes 4-6 servings.



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