We are always on the quest to find the “best” vegan meatball and usually they don’t measure up. Is it because we are trying to replace the exact taste and texture of a meat-based meatball…never going to happen?! I don’t post a lot about vegan meatballs, but Jessica Seinfeld’s eggplant and caulifower recipe did come close and I would definitely make them again.
1 eggplant (about 1 ½ pounds), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ head cauliflower, cut into small florets (about 4 cups)
1 red bell pepper, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 garlic cloves, smashed and peeled
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
½ cup farro
½ cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs (or use gluten free panko)
½ cup grated vegan parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
5 cups of your favorite marinara
Preheat the oven (with the oven rack in the middle) to 400°F. Line a rimmed sheet pan with parchment paper.
To another rimmed sheet pan or large baking dish, add the eggplant, cauliflower, bell pepper, and garlic. Drizzle with the oil and sprinkle with the salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes. Toss together and arrange in a single layer. Roast for about 45 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.
Meanwhile, cook the farro. Fill a medium saucepan with water and let come to a boil. Add the farro and cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain into a strainer and run under cold water to cool.
Put the roasted vegetables in a food processor and pulse until finely chopped but not smooth. Scrape into a large bowl and stir in the bread crumbs, parmesan, and faro.
Shape the mixture into balls, about 2 inches in diameter. Space them 1 inch apart on the prepared pan. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until slightly browned and crisp on the outside and heated through.
Serve with the Rao’s Marinara Sauce which never disappoints and a little vegan parmesan