The old fashioned grandma’s eggplant balls. This is a delicious recipe, which can be used for different occasions. It can be a starter, It can be a party snack or part of a main course when served as side dish.
- 5 Large Eggplants
- 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (grated)
- 6-7 ounces Dry breadcrumbs (finely grated)
- 1 Egg (medium size) – but keep an extra yolk handy
- 1 Clove of garlic (finely chopped)
- A handful of flat leaf parsley (finely chopped)
- Sunflower oil for deep frying (if you want to add some extra flavour to the eggplants, you can use a mild or light olive oil available in the supermarket)
- Cut the ends off the eggplants
- Peel the skin off
- Cut the eggplants in large circles
- Quarter the circles or reduce them into smaller parts.
- Take a large pan full of cold water and put the eggplants into the pan.
- Bring to the boil and keep boiling until they become dark and soft (in my case it took about 40 minutes).
- Pour the eggplants into a collander.
- Squeeze with a large spoon in order to eliminate as much water as you can.
- Now, pour the eggplants into a bowl.
- Make a well in the centre.
- Add the whole egg.
- Mix together.
- If the mix looks too dry, I sometimes add an extra egg yolk in order to improve the binding. This may result in using more breadcrumbs to complete the mix.
- Add the garlic and the parsley. Then, stir all together.
- Add the Parmesan cheese and stir everything together.
- Sprinkle with salt, stir and taste the mix to check for seasoning.
- Season with ground pepper (just 3-4 grinds).
- Finally, add the breadcrumbs. These should be added gradually while stirring to ensure that the mix becomes hard enough to make croquettes. Sometimes you need less breadcrumbs, sometimes more, it just depends on the amount of the water you left in the eggplants mix or if you added an extra egg yolk.
- Prepare the balls. Balls must not be big otherwise they do not cook in the centre. I suggest the dimension of a nutshell. A very important thing do to is flatten the balls so the heat can easily reach the centre when frying.
- Heat the oil.
- When the oil is hot, put the balls into the frying pan.
- Leave them to fry for few seconds.
- Then, move the balls gently with a spoon to ensure that they do not stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Continue frying for few minutes until the balls are golden brown. I always take one out and cut in two to check if it is cooked in the centre (if not, fry for extra time).
- When the balls are ready, remove them from the frying pan and put them into a bowl with some kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil.
- This is the final stage, where all the eggplants balls are perfectly cooked. You can eat them when warm but are also delicious eaten cold.