These delicious little “meatballs” have been simmering in my mind for several months.
After two beautiful, and hardworking!, vegetarian Swedish girls came to stay, I promised them I would work on a recipe for vegetarian ‘Swedish meatballs”. There were a few fails before this recipe, and now that I have made it this far, I confess the inspiration was Swedish but the translation from this non Swedish chef (me) who has never been to Sweden (yet!!!!!! ) – is probably far from anything Swedish, luckily it is versatile and delicious and I am sure my friends will enjoy them.
With todays rendition I have tried to channel my best “Swedish chef” and have thought about the flavours that might work for Tess and Adela home in Sweden at the beginning of their autumn. I have paired the eggplant meatballs with a dill, horseradish beetroot, apple and red cabbage salad (very similar to the beetroot salad here – A Quick Fridge Pickle and a Favourite Easy Raw Beetroot Salad,) I made a mash consisting of potato, peas, broccoli, spring onions, dill, lemon and mint yoghurt sauce, with a drizzle of olive oil to finish the plate. This tastes as good as it looks with lots of fresh vegetables, crunchy texture and a little comfort from the potato vegetable mash.
I made the same recipe last week with the addition of curry powder and served them with an Indian spinach “Saag” sauce with was also delicious. My next plan is to serve them middle eastern style with smokey paprika, coriander, mint, sumac and yoghurt (or tahini sauce), hoping for a meal similar to Turkish Eggs.
For now though I will share the base recipe for the eggplant “meatballs” and then you can make your own choices.
SIMPLE VEGAN EGGPLANT MEATBALLS
Incidentally these are also gluten free unless you substitute wheat flour for g/f flour
Makes approximately 18 golf ball size meatballs
You will need a large enough pan to saute eggplant, onion and seeds and nuts.
You will also need a food processor to blend ingredients – BUT – I think you could mash this all together with a potato masher instead if you don’t have a food processor.
Pre heat oven to 180’c and line or grease a baking tray to cook the meatballs on.
- 1 onion – diced
- 2 medium/large eggplants diced in 1 cm rough cubes
- 1/2 cup of chopped seeds or nuts (I used a mix of pumpkin, sunflower and almonds)
- 1 cup cooked brown rice (you could substitute another grain or bean if necessary)
- 1/2 cup of gluten free flour (you could use normal or wholewheat flour)
- 1 tsp salt – more to taste if necessary
- freshly ground pepper
- Olive oil to saute onion, eggplant and seeds and nuts and also to cook meatballs.
Heat your pan with a thin layer of olive oil and start to saute your onions.
Once the onions have begun to cook, add your cubed eggplant, seeds, nuts and salt.
Saute until golden and properly cooked.
Once cooked, add to the food processor with the cooked brown rice and your flour of choice. Pulse several times to bring the ingredients together. I think that it is important the finished flavour and texture of the “meatballs” to keep some texture in the mix so go carefully and don’t over mix. As mentioned at the start of the recipe, I haven’t tried it but feel confident you could mash this with a potato masher if you didn’t have a food processor.
To make the “meatballs” I greased my hands and, using a teaspoon, I moulded heaped teaspoons into smallish golfball sized balls.
I placed all the balls on a baking tray and drizzled them with a little oil which I then rolled them in before placing the tray in the oven to bake for approximately 25 minutes. Give the tray a shake half way through this time so that they brown all over.
Eat now or save until later.