Eggplant Croquettes

(“Polpette di Melanzane” – “Purpetti ri Milinciani”)

   

 A good vegetarian dish filled with many elements available in most pantries of every Sicilian household.
The eggplant croquets can be served fried as an appetizer or can go well cooked in tomato sauce as a main dish. Any left over polpette, are delicious the following day.
I remember that I used to take the leftovers to school in my lunch box.

 

 

                             

 

 

SERVES 4 TO 6 

INGREDIENTS

  • 3 medium eggplants 
  • 3 large eggs 
  • 1 scallion, very finely chopped, the white base and part of the green 
  • 1 cup grated cheese 
  • ¼ lb. diced caciocavallo or provola 
  • 2 oz. pinoli nuts 
  • 2 oz. currants or raisins 
  • chopped fresh mint and chopped fresh parsley 
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs 
  • salt and pepper to taste 

 

For Frying

  • enough olive oil to fry croquettes 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 1 lb. breadcrumbs in a wide container 

 

PREPARATION 

Boil the eggplants in an abundant amount of salted water for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size. Place in a colander to drain and as soon as the eggplants are cool, cut in half and squeeze as much water out as possible.
In a large bowl, scoop out the eggplant and add the 3 eggs, scallion, diced and grated cheese, pinoli, currants, mint, parsley, pepper and a half of a cup of the breadcrumbs. 

 

Mix well and if it is too watery add more breadcrumbs, a little at a time. Should mixture be too dry add some milk.
Make croquettes the size of a ping-pong ball and form small cylinders.

Beat two eggs and gently roll the croquettes into eggs, a few at a time.
Remove one at a time and place in the container with breadcrumbs.
Squeeze the breadcrumbs into croquettes and place in a dish.

Fry or deep-fry croquettes until golden, rest on paper towel.
Can be served hot or at room temperature as an appetizer or combined with tomato sauce as a main dish, matched with fresh sour dough bread.
Garnish with mint leaves.