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I’ve  been planning to try this recipe from Abel and Cole for months and have now finally got around to it!  The recipe looks a bit fiddly at first, but is actually pretty easy as everything gets whizzed in a food processor.  I liked these as nibbles by themselves, but as Spaghetti and ‘Meatballs’, I really enjoyed the change from plain old tomato sauce!  The original recipe called for breadcrumbs, which I swapped for gluten free Orgran rice crumbs.


Aubergine No-Meat Meatballs

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 gluten free breadcrumbs

Fry the aubergine, onion and garlic on medium heat in a bit of oil till soft and starting to colour. Add more oil, if need. Season well.  Add a squeeze of lemon juice and grate over a good bit of the zest.

Tip it into a food processor with the olives, chilli, balsamic vinegar and breadcrumbs. Whizz it up till everything comes together. If you don’t have a processor, just chop and mix everything up on a large cutting board.
Taste the mix, then add more herbs or spice if needed.  Also, if it’s a bit dry, add a splash of olive oil, or if it’s too wet, add more breadcrumbs. Shape into balls. Two aubergines will give you about a dozen rounded tablespoon-sized balls.
Fry 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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