Eggplant gets a bad rap. Sure, it has a somewhat spongy texture that is a bit odd. But it’s also loaded with all sorts of good nutrients, too! And on top of that, eggplant can be delicious when it’s prepared well. A couple of years ago, I had some delicious eggplant “meatballs” which really changed my opinion about this veggie. The eggplant was cooked down, mixed with a number of spices and other ingredients, and then fried into a delicious meatball. I remember thinking at the time that the meatballs would make a delicious burger. I finally got around to trying it out the other day, and it tasted amazing!
These burgers are somewhat similar to the classic eggplant Parmesan, but the difference here is that the eggplant is cooked first. Then the eggplant is blended with spices before being shaped into patties. I’ve tried eggplant both ways, and I strongly prefer this style…I feel like the strange spongy texture of the eggplant isn’t as noticeable when the eggplant is cooked first. I find these “burgers” so much tastier than a traditional eggplant parm sandwich!
I put these Eggplant Parmesan Burgers squarely in the middle of the comfort food category…which means they are perfect for chilly Fall and cold Winter days. Regular readers of Spiced will know that I am a huge fan of grilling and smoking all sorts of food, but there’s something about a foot or two of snow that kinda dampens my interest in grilling burgers or making pulled pork! I suspect that these “burgers” will be a good alternative as the days get colder. And if burgers aren’t your thing, then just form the eggplant mixture into meatballs instead of patties and serve them over a steaming plate of pasta and tomato sauce! (If you’re looking for more traditional burgers, I suggest taking a look at these Smoky Whiskey BBQ Burgers or these Spicy Buffalo Chicken Burgers.)