If you're a fan of eggplant, these make for an excellent vegetarian meatball substitute. But polpette are really something deserving of their own category, and they work well served as a type of fritter with a dipping sauce on the side. I recommend an aioli.
What you will need
1 Red Onion
4 Tbsp Olive Oil
4 Tbsp Capers
14 oz. canned Lentils
1 cup Almond Flour
Black Pepper(Nutritional facts 85 calories, 3.7 g fat, 11.99 g carbohydrates, 2.17 g protein, 0 mg cholesterol, 487 mg sodium)
How to cook
Preheat oven to 400°F
Cut off the stem tip of the eggplant and discard the leafy cap. Slice the eggplant into flaps, around 1/4" thick. Stack the flaps and slice into strips, about the same width. Group the strips and slice perpendicular one more time to yield cubes.
Dice the onion as finely as possible. Remove the stem tip and slice in half through the stem to root axis. Slice finely from the top, perpendicular to the sliced stem face without cutting through the root end. Then slice into the stem face several times with the blade parallel to the board to complete a hatch pattern. Slice again from the top perpendicular to the previous slice to dice finely.
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a large saute pan.
When the oil is shimmering and flows quickly around the pan, you can add the diced eggplant. Cook for several minutes, stirring frequently. Eggplant really sucks up oil as it cooks, so you may need to add some more olive oil if the eggplant starts sticking too much.
When the eggplant has softened a little, you can stir in the red onion. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is tender. You don't need to cook the vegetables down to a paste as you might for a stew because we'll be blending them shortly and leaving a little texture will keep the polpette from being too dense or chewy.
Toss in the capers.
Strain away and discard the packing liquid from the lentils. Add the strained lentils to the pan. Stir over heat until heated through.
Add a little salt and a few turns of freshly ground black pepper to taste.
Transfer the mix to a food processor. A blender would work as well but will make it a little easier to overprocess the vegetables.
Toss in the almond flour.
Pulse briefly, stopping to scrape down the sides of the hopper with a spatula. It should really only take 3 or 4 taps to loosely chop the vegetables and mix thoroughly with the almond flour.
Scoop the mixture into balls. A heaping standard tablespoon makes for a good portion size. The mixture can be a little sticky. Coat the spoon in olive oil to make the process go a little smoother.
With the polpette arranged on a baking sheet lined with parchment or silicone, bake for 25-30 minutes. Polpette should be lightly browned on top and cooked through.
Really great served with aioli.