After adding truckloads of new soil to our vegetable garden late last year, we’ve had the best harvest in years this summer. Our zucchini, peppers, beans, tomatoes, and eggplants just keep coming, although our garlic and onions were completely eaten up by moles. We have long Japanese eggplant, round Viola eggplant, and my favorite, tender white eggplants. My husband and I love eggplant Parmesan, but week after week it does begin to get a little boring, so I recently experimented with using up our eggplants in a new recipe. It took two tests to get this dish just right, but the second batch turned out perfectly. I peeled my eggplant to ensure that the patties were very tender and added in some chopped taggiasca olives and capers to add a little vibrancy.
We enjoyed these patties along with some garden beans and a mixed salad for a completely vegetarian meal, but they could also be an excellent side dish for grilled or roasted meat. I had a big bowl of ripe tomatoes sitting on my windowsill that I needed to use up, so I made a batch of my Garden Fresh Tomato Sauce to serve with these patties. Of course, you could use your favorite tomato sauce recipe instead if you prefer.
Deborah Mele 2016
Eggplant Patties With Fresh Garden Tomato Sauce
- 1/3 Cup Olive Oil, Divided
- 4 Medium Eggplants, Peeled And Cubed
- 3 Cups Fresh Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 Cup Milk
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1/2 Cup Grated Pecorino Cheese
- 1 Large Egg
- 1/4 Cup Chopped Black Olives
- 2 Teaspoons Finely Chopped Capers
- 2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Parsley
- Salt & Pepper To Taste
- 1 Cup Dry Breadcrumbs
- In a large frying pan, heat 1/4 cup of oil over medium heat, and fry the diced eggplant until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Place the eggplant into a food processor and pulse briefly to coarsely chop.
- Place the eggplant in a bowl.
- In another bowl, soak the fresh breadcrumbs with the milk for a few minutes, then gently squeeze the bread with your hands to remove most of the milk.
- Add the moistened bread to the bowl with the eggplant along with the garlic, cheese, egg, olives, capers, parsley, salt and pepper.
- Refrigerate mixture for 1 hour.
- Remove the mixture from the refrigerator and shape into 2 inch balls.
- Roll the balls in the dry breadcrumbs, then gently press with your hands to flatten into patties.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan over medium heat, and cook the parties in batches until golden brown on each side, about 8 minutes total cooking time.
- Place the patties on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.
- Serve the patties with your tomato sauce of choice.