Eggplant and Mushroom “Meatballs” AppetizersVegetarianSyrah “Our Syrah has always been my favorite choice with most lamb or eggplant dishes, and as more of my friends become vegetarian, this recipe has become very popular with a glass of our Syrah.” – Pamela Berman, Tasting Room Manager Serves: 4 Ingredients: 1 lb eggplant 2 oz olive oil Salt and pepper, to taste 8 oz mushrooms 1 tsp dry oregano 1 generous cup parmesan, grated 3/4 cup panko breadcrumbs 1 Tbsp garlic, minced 2 eggs Method of Preparation: Preheat oven to 400°. Slice the eggplant lengthwise into 1/2” slices, then brush with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake on a sheet pan until golden brown, about 10 minutes. Slice the mushrooms into thick slices and sauté with the oregano until well browned. Transfer both the eggplant and mushrooms to a food processor, discarding any liquid. Pulse until mixture is a smooth paste, then transfer to a bowl. Add the parmesan cheese, panko and garlic; incorporate well, then add eggs. Add additional salt and pepper if needed. Chill mixture for at least 30 minutes before forming into approximately 12 tablespoon size balls. Chill again for at least 1 hour, or overnight. When ready to cook, warm 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and brown the “meatballs” on all sides, turning carefully with a spoon. Serve as an appetizer with a dipping sauce of your choice or use with any dish in place of regular meatballs.