Spicy Eggplant Balls with Minty Yogurt Wrap

By 9

Not very flavorful, mushy when cooked and with a horrible name – eggplants aren’t as friendly a summer veggie as their relatives, the tomatoes, and I get myself in trouble every time I’m buying them. Because my mind is stuck on the idea of “eggplant salad” and there isn’t any other recipe idea blinking.


But yesterday I was enlightened. Watching “Mediterranean Escapes with Rick Stein”, all my memories from the lovely countries I visited on the edge of the sea were suddenly alive. I again saw myself tasting delicious stuffed eggplants in a lovely little restaurant in Corfu Town, indulging with homemade pasta a la Norma at a table with a view towards Isola Bella in Taormina, or sipping a sangria while waiting for the flavored eggplant stew in a clay pot, cooked in a traditional oven, at a tiny table in Sintra. It was all there, the smell of the Mediterranean, dramatic views, the paved old pedestrian streets, the smiling locals, the smell of the fresh cooked food, with sun-blessed ingredients. How could I ever forget that eggplants were the main ingredient of almost all my vegetarian meals on the shores of the Mediterranean. Definitely, they deserve a much interesting interpretation than a plain salad.


Eggplants being a key ingredient in the Mediterranean diet is not at all a random fact. They aren’t only versatile and hearty, but they’re also nourishing, containing vitamins (B1, B3, B6, and K), bone-building manganese, copper, potassium and antioxidants.

The deep magenta color of the eggplant skin is the place in which most of its nutrients are hidden. Nasunin, their main flavonoid, is a powerful antioxidant maintaining the health of brain cells and a booster of tumor-fighting activity. And the good news is that eggplants are low in calories and high in fibers, so they’re the perfect combination if you are on a diet. However, they quickly absorb a lot of oil, making them a hidden calorie trap, so make sure you don’t use too much oil when cooking them.Their flavor is best highlighted if you pair them with any of these: basil, oregano, mint, onion, garlic, lemon, pomegranate, tomato juice – it isn’t a surprise, these are all classic Mediterranean ingredients!


So I filed the cookbooks I brought with me from my travels, I recalled my favorite Mediterranean flavors and I managed to create something really special. A dish with Italian-Lebanese roots – spicy eggplant meatballs, bathed in refreshing minty yogurt sauce with pomegranate, all wrapped in fresh wholemeal flat bread. It is a delicious and nourishing meal, beautifully spiced and flavored, perfect for a summer lunch, while dreaming of your next holiday.

ALSO YUMMY:  Vegetarian Minestrone Soup, The Very Green Edition




4.3 from 3 reviews
Spicy Eggplant Balls and Minty Yogurt Wrap
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Flavored eggplant balls bathed in minty yogurt sauce, with a zing of pomegranate, all wrapped in fresh and warm wholemeal flat bread.
Recipe type: Vegetarian
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Serves: 4
  • For the Eggplant Balls
  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • ½ cup bread crumbs
  • 1 large organic egg
  • 1 bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp Chili flakes
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the Yogurt Sauce
  • ½ cup low fat yogurt
  • 1 handful mint leaves
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Fresh juice from one lime
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For assembling
  • Pomegranate seeds, mint leaves, wholemeal flat bread
  1. Preheat the oven 175 °C/ 347°F.
  2. Wash the eggplants with plenty of water, drain well and cut in small cubes.
  3. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a cast iron skillet.
  4. Add the crushed garlic and fry for 30 seconds, just to flavor the oil.
  5. Add the eggplant cubes and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently, until they begin to soften.
  6. Transfer the eggplant in the food processor, add the egg, bread crumbs, parsley and onion and pulse two or three times to combine. Don't over-process, as the balls should have texture. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
  7. Line a baking tray with parchment paper, and shape small balls from the eggplant mixture, using your hands. Line them on the baking tray.
  8. Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, flip over and bake for 10 more minutes.
  9. While the eggplant balls are baking, prepare the yogurt sauce. Place all ingredients in the blender and process to obtain a creamy sauce.
  10. For serving, heat the flat bread, spread with yogurt sauce, add 3-4 eggplant balls, top with some more yogurt sauce, pomegranate seeds and mint leaves. Serve right away.

Related Posts

Enjoyed this post? Subscribe via email!
Join my newsletter and be the first to get notified on new posts and secret recipes ;).
  • reem Al-khaldy
    December 8, 2014

    i love this recipe so freaking much !!!!!!!!

    • Ana
      December 8, 2014

      Thanks, Reem!

      • Kate
        October 21, 2015

        What would you recommend for a substitute for pomegranate seeds? I was thinking arugula or diced cucumbers?

        • Ana
          October 21, 2015

          Kate, diced cucumber would make a great replacement, and maybe add some pine nuts for extra texture 🙂

  • Meg
    April 22, 2016

    What a great recipe! Such a creative way to use eggplant & so easy to make! Thank you!

    • Ana
      April 22, 2016

      I too love this recipe and I am so happy you find it interesting! Can’t wait for the summer to have fresh ripe eggplants to cook with 🙂 Thank you!

  • Jen
    January 21, 2018

    How come I can never get vegetable meatballs or patties to stay together and get crispy? I couldn’t get these to do it either.

    • Ana
      January 22, 2018

      Sorry to read it didn’t work out for you, Jen! This is a summer recipe and most of the times seasonal ingredients don’t have the same texture and taste when cultivated out if the season. Eggplants are such an example, and their flesh and flavor will not be the same in winter as in summer, when they’re ripening under the sun. Maybe adding an extra egg will do the trick next time :).

    • Zoey
      January 23, 2018

      I had the same issue. And I felt like there was way too much eggplant in the mix. I had way more eggplant than could even fit in the food processor. It could be that our perspective on size is different- it would be nice if the measurement for the eggplant was given in pounds. I’m not sure how to fix this recipe. I like the concept but I had too many problems. 🙁

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Rate this recipe: