Best recipe for an abundant ‘Jersey Fresh’ vegetable right now

Before you reject this recipe because you don’t like this vegetable, please check it out and give it a try.

OK, it’s eggplant and a lot of people turn their backs on eggplant because they don’t like the sound or if they’ve tried it they’ve been put off. If you’ve never eaten “meatballs” or eggplant patties, you’ve never had one of the best dishes on the menu.

These have appeared on some Italian menus in restaurants or specialty stores. They’ve been around for a century, but were never really promoted until chefs started digging into “Cucina Povera”, which means food of the poor. Grandma’s recipes were born out of necessity. They couldn’t afford meat, so they used the most abundant and cheapest ingredients they had.

Eggplant replaces beef, pork or veal in these delicious little nuggets that my Sicilian grandmother taught my mom and me to make. New Jersey happens to be the top state for eggplant harvests in the country., even beating California. If you know how to make meatballs, it’s an easy transition with a few extra steps.

Best recipe for an abundant “Fresh Jersey” vegetable right now

You can also use jarred or canned fresh tomato sauce. Garnish with grated parmesan or pecorino romano and enjoy!

The views expressed in the above post are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Dennis Malloy only.

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