Eggplant and Buckwheat Patties

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1 medium eggplant, peeled and cubed
2 cloves garlic, minced
juice of 1 lemon
grated rind of 1 lemon
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1 large onion, minced
2 cups buckwheat groats, cooked
2 tablespoons celery leaves, minced
1/4 tablespoon pepper
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, minced
1 egg, beaten
1 tablespoon buckwheat flour or more, if needed
2 tablespoons corn oil, for frying

Steam eggplant in a vegetable steamer for 8 to 10 minutes, or until tender. Transfer to a glass or ceramic bowl and toss with garlic, lemon juice, lemon rind, and olive oil Set aside to marinate for 1 hour, then finely chop in a food processor or blender, along with marinating liquid.

Meanwhile, heat butter and brown onions in a large skillet. Cool, then add remaining ingredients, except corn oil. Stir in chopped eggplant. Mixture should be fairly stiff; add a little more flour if necessary. Heat corn oil in another large skillet. Drop mixture by the tablespoon into hot oil and fry until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels. Serve hot.

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