So there I was, face to face with a huge pile of eggplants. The guy requested eggplant parmesan again, but I wasn’t in the mood for breaded crispy stuff. Or the usual accompanying pasta.
So I decided to make eggplant patties and eggplant balls (which would go great as a meatball substitute in spaghetti or baked ziti or something), some of which I planned to freeze for later enjoyment.
The verdict? SO GOOD and I will definitely be making these again, possibly with variations!
We ate them as sandwiches, but they’d be great on a hamburger bun with the usual hamburger-esque toppings and condiments, too.
Eggplant Patties Recipe (or Homemade Veggie Burgers)
- About 5-6 Japanese eggplants, peeled and cubed
- 1 Tablespoon garlic
- 1-2 shredded zucchinis (optional; carrots would also be fantastic as an addition)
- 1 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (the stuff in the can is even fine)
- 1 1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
- 3/4 cup wheat germ
- 2 or 3 beaten eggs
Sautee the garlic in a couple tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. After about a minute, add the eggplant and 3/4 cups water. Steam, covered, over medium heat about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove the cover and stir until most of the water has evaporated.
Remove eggplant to a bowl and mash to your desired consistency. Some chunks are okay!
Squeeze the excess water out of your grated zucchinis and/or carrots by putting them into a dish towel and wringing it over the sink. This just removes some of the excess moisture so that your patties won’t be soggy. It’s an important step; I promise! Add the squeezed veggies to the eggplants.
Chill for about half an hour, just so the mixture isn’t hot anymore. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Add parmesan cheese, breadcrumbs, and wheat germ. Stir. Add 2 beaten eggs and combine. If it’s too dry, add another egg. If it’s too wet, you can add more breadcrumbs, cheese, and/or wheat germ.
Chill again to let the mixture get a little more firm.
Shape patties and/or balls on a cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray. I used the two-spoon method (illustrated in the Red Lobster biscuit recipe) for balls, and a larger lump, flattened with a fork, for patties.
Bake 30 minutes, flipping over halfway through. Enjoy as you see fit!
We had ours on a sandwich. One side of the sandwich had melted mozzarella cheese. On the other side was a tomato mixture (in a bowl, mix a can of tomatoes, drained, with a drizzle of olive oil, a couple splashes of balsamic vinegar, and a few shakes of dried basil). It was amazing!
The next day for lunch, our sandwiches were similar, but instead of the tomato mixture, we spread on a dressing made of light mayonnaise mixed with balsamic vinegar. Very yum (and the dressing also worked well as a dipping sauce for some of the eggplant balls)!
I think these would be really gorgeous with some more color added… carrots, red peppers, something pretty. Also, to beef up the texture a little (excuse the pun) mushrooms or cooked brown rice would be welcome additions. So fresh-tasting!
I really like the idea of serving up veggie burgers that aren’t pretending to be something they’re not. Veggies should never masquerade as meat in my opinion. They’re too wonderful in their own right for that!