Eggplant

Agata says:

I love to serve this antipasti when I entertain because these little fried balls are just as good at room temperature as they are warm. They are also surprisingly light and tasty, and you will be surprised to see how children go for them!

Fritelle di Melanzane (Eggplant Fritters)

Ingredients

2 nice large eggplant (feel the weight of them and pick ones that feel lightest in your hand
they generally have less seeds)
3 large cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons each chopped basil and parsley
½ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano (you could substitute Cacciocavallo cheese but, because it is saltier than Parmigiano, use less salt in seasoning the finished mixture)
1 beaten egg
3 tbs. fine fresh breadcrumbs
2 cups Sicilian Filtered Extra Virgin Olive Oil for frying
salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place whole eggplants on baking dish and bake in oven for about 1 hour until eggplant flesh is cooked through.
Remove eggplants and peel off skin when cool enough to touch. Place cooked pulp in a large bowl and add all remaining ingredients except olive oil for frying.
Mix together with your hands until all ingredients are well-blended.
Heat olive oil over high heat in large frying pan (padella, as Agata calls it).
Drop tablespoons of eggplant mixture into frying pan and cook through, about 2 minutes (turning over once midway), until fritters are golden. (Don’t overcrowd pan and don’t let fritelle get too brown). Drain on paper towels and serve them as is. (If you fry them early in the day, you can also reheat them in a low oven for 10-15 min.)