Aubergine No-Meat Meatballs

Cooking time
Serves4 people

These little beauties are actually meat-free but they certainly look the part. And, they taste positively gorgeous. Aubergines fried up in a little oil, mixed with chopped olives, chilli and herbs. This dish is not just for vegetarians!

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layout 2 comments


  • A few splashes of olive oil
  • 2 aubergines, cut into a small dice
  • 1 smallish onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 lemon
  • A handful of pitted black olives
  • 1 red chilli, finely chopped (or a pinch of chilli powder)
  • A large handful of fresh basil or 1 tbsp chopped rosemary leaves
  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 mug of breadcrumbs
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1. Place a large frying pan over medium heat. Sizzle the aubergine, onion and garlic in a bit of oil till soft and starting to colour. Add more oil, if need. Season well.
2. When it’s almost done, add a squeeze of lemon juice and grate over a good bit of zest.
3. Tip it into a food processor with the olives, chilli, balsamic vinegar and breadcrumbs. Whizz it up till everything comes together. Or just chop and mix everything up on a large cutting board.
4. Taste the mix. Add more herbs or spice if needed. If it’s a bit dry, add a splash of olive oil. If it’s too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Shape into balls. Two aubergines will give you about a dozen rounded tablespoon-sized balls.
5. Sizzle the balls in olive oil till golden all over and serve with a mound of sauced spaghetti, or just nibble them on their own.
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Lovely. Very comforting meal.