CROCCHETTE di MELANZINE (Eggplant Croquettes)

Every year my husband plants a small garden. However once things start to ripen it’s a battle to get to them before the rabbits and squirrels. Fortunately, we have a local farm stand, “Nells” where we can get what we need to have fresh vegetables for meal times.

CROCCHETTE di MELANZINE (Eggplant Croquettes)


  • 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)
  • Canola oil for deep frying (but, if you want to add some extra flavor to the eggplants, you can use, as I do, a mild olive oil)


  • Cut the ends off the eggplants and peel
  • Cut the eggplants in large circles
  • Quarter the circles to reduce to chunks
  • Take a large pan full of cold water and put the eggplants into the pan
  • Bring the water to a boil and allow them to boil until they become dark and soft(in my case it took about 40 minutes)
  • Pour the eggplants into a colander with a weight on top to press out water or squeeze with your hands in order to eliminate as much water as you can
  • Dump the eggplants into a bowl and make a well in the center
  • Add the whole egg that has been lightly beaten and mix together.
  • If the mix looks too dry, you can add an extra egg yolk in order to tighten it up. This may result in using more bread crumbs to complete the mix.
  • Add the garlic and the parsley. Then, stir all together.
  • Add the Parmesan or Romano cheese and stir everything together.
  • Sprinkle with salt, stir and taste the mix to check for seasoning.
  • Season with ground pepper–to taste
  • 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 the extra egg yolk
  • With your hands, grab a small amount of the mixture and shape the egg plant balls. Balls should not be big otherwise they will not be cooked in the middle. I suggest nothing larger than a ping-pong ball. A very important thing I do is flatten them just a little so the heat can easily reach the middle when frying
  • Heat the oil. I know the oil is hot enough when a tiny drop of water splatters
  • When the oil is hot, put the balls into the frying pan slowly to avoid splatter
  • Allow them to fry for few seconds and then nudge them gently with a spoon to ensure that they do not stick to the bottom of the pan. If you give them enough time to brown and crisp they should not stick
  • 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 middle(if not, fry a few minutes more).
  • When the balls are ready, remove them from the frying pan and put them onto a plate lined with some kitchen paper to absorb the excess oil. Do not put them on a rack or grate as they will probably fall apart.
  • When all the eggplant balls are perfectly cooked, you can serve when hot, but are also delicious eaten warm or even cold.

NOTE: I sometimes like to have some warm marinara sauce available for dipping or pouring over a plateful.

Buon Mangiata

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