I think I’m getting back in my groove. I haven’t had slow roasted sweet potatoes in two days!!
I actually had something completely different that included a mini giveaway planned for today – but then I had to tackle some eggplant in the fridge.
See, I’m nearing eggplant burnout. My mom buys me eggplant every time she goes to the store. I’m not complaining – I mean, it’s really very sweet of her. But eggplant isn’t very forgiving of being forgotten about. There’s a fragile couple of days between the time an eggplant is purchased and the time you use it. And then it turns all soft, mushy, bruised and ugly.
Naturally, this creates an added bit of pressure for me to use it quickly…and as someone who’s getting rather sick of eggplant, I am not as enthusiastic about using it right off the bat, and I’m not about to start groveling at my mother’s feet, begging her for the love of all that is sacred to stop buying me eggplant. That’d just appear ungrateful.
My heart almost stopped as I heard she was going grocery shopping today and I still had half an eggplant in my fridge from a week ago. I could only imagine being bombarded with another eggplant. Luckily, she didn’t.
I almost decided that I was going to make my first-ever baba ghanoush, but after a little bit of dwelling decided I was in the mood for pasta, and so eggplant “parm” won me over.
With white bean aioli “meatballs.”
Why? Well, I was out of hummus…and wanted to make hummus…but then saw a V-Con recipe for white bean aioli. Okay. So then I wanted chickpea balls of sorts. And was too lazy for both. So I still did both…but the lazy girl’s way. Are you following this?
I definitely had a driver error with the breadcrumbs. The crackers got nice and crumby, but I should have processed the bread longer. It was a bit chunky, and as such, didn’t stick as well.
Between that and the fact that my skillet is warped and all the oil went to the bottom left corner, my “frying of the eggplant” was a bit of a still-delicious fail.
Whatever. All that matters is how good it still tasted. I love the aioli. And the aioli balls. And the final eggplant product. And…everything.
Note: I have refused to make my own hummus because I am 100% committed to Cedar’s. I know I’ll never be able to produce something so creamy and flavorful, so I don’t try. I figured making aioli was a good almost-hummus. I don’t keep tahini around, anyway.
White Bean Aioli
Adapted from Veganomicon
- 1 can small white beans, drained
- 2 T. lemon juice
- 1/2 t. sea salt
- pinch ground pepper
- pinch crushed red pepper flakes (optional, to taste)
- 2 T. sundried tomato pesto (I like Bella Sun Luci)
- 2 T. basil oil
- 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
In a small frying pan over medium heat, heat the oil and pesto and then add in the garlic, lightly browning it. Meanwhile, in a blender, combine beans, lemon juice, sea salt and peppers. Blend until smooth. Add in the oil, pesto and garlic. Blend until smooth.
White Bean Aioli Balls
- 1/3 c. white bean aioli
- 3 T. breadcrumbs (I used home-made that were rather course)
- 1 T. vital wheat gluten
- 1/8 c. diced scallion
Combine all ingredients. Roll into balls by the tablespoon and bake at 350* for 35 minutes on a sprayed baking sheet. They should be browned on the bottom.
This recipe only makes about 6 - but could easily be doubled. I just wasn’t sure if it would work!
- 1/3 c. Kashi Fire-Roasted Veggie Crackers
- 1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted
- 1/2 of a large eggplant, peeled and sliced into 1/2” thick rounds
- 1 T. flax + 3 T. warm water
- 1 T. olive oil
Place the eggplant on a paper towel or strainer and sprinkle with salt. Set aside and prepare breadcrumbs: blend crackers and toasted bread until very fine.
In a small bowl, stir together flax and water.
Begin heating olive oil in nonstick pan. Dip eggplant slices first in flax egg, then in breadcrumbs. Fry in olive oil and repeat until all the slices are browed on both sides. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 35 minutes at 350*
Do you make your own hummus or buy it?