Moroccan Eggplant Meatballs with Creamy Lemon Sauce

RECIPE SHARED BY ALEX CASPERO MA, RD & KATIE MCFARLAND

Number of servings

Eggplant Meatballs ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 lb eggplant, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • .25 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 white onion, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
  • .5 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • .5 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • .5 teaspoon cayenne pepper, optional
  • 1 cup canned white beans, rinsed
  • .25 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh Sunkist® lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs, whole wheat, panko or regular

Lemon Sauce ingredients

  • .25 cup cashews, soaked in hot water at least 1 hour
  • 2 tablespoons fresh dill
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • .25 cup water
  • .5 teaspoon salt
  • .25 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

Eggplant Meatballs

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F. Lightly spray a rimmed baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When hot, add in the eggplant along with 1/4 cup of water, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until tender - about 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer to the bowl of a food processor.
  3. Add the remaining teaspoon of olive oil to the same warm skillet along with the chopped onion. Cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Then add in the garlic and cook until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add mixture to the food processor along with the spices, beans, parsley, lemon zest and juice. Pulse about 8-10 times until well combined, but not pureed.
  5. Remove and place into a large bowl, then toss with the breadcrumbs. The mixture should easily hold together, but not be wet. Add more breadcrumbs if needed.
  6. Scoop 1 1/2-2 tablespoons of the mixture and roll into balls. Place on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with the rest of the mixture, creating approximately 22-24 meatballs.
  7. Drizzle with olive oil then bake until firm and browned, about 25 minutes.

Lemon Sauce

Directions
  1. While the meatballs are cooking, make the sauce. Add the drained cashews and the rest of the ingredients to a food processor or blender.
  2. Puree until very creamy and smooth. Serve with the meatballs for dipping.