Eggplant is one of these vegetables that I have very little experience with. Up until cooking with one this past summer, I think its safe to say my encounters with eggplant had extended only to Eggplant Parmesan at Olive Garden. I am not sure if eggplant is something that is just not popular in my family, or if it is just not popular at all.
Although my experience with it is limited, I do enjoy eggplant. Its meaty texture reminds me a lot of the large Portabella mushrooms I like on a grilled vegetable sandwich.
I got involved with eggplants after a co-worker shared garden produce last July. I had no idea what to do with the things, but they were so cute I could not resist taking them home. Notably, the urge to take things home based on cuteness alone could be detrimental at, say, the animal shelter (kittens!), but in the case of cast off produce, it served me well.
After putting out a call for ideas, I ended up stuffing those eggplants. I liked them so much, I knew I would make some another time, and that time is now. If you like the idea of stuffed vegetables but prefer to use rice or quinoa in place of bread crumbs, simply click on over to the stuffed recipes page and refer to the tomato and pepper recipes. Enjoy!
- 1 medium to large eggplant
- 1 tablespoons olive oil
- ½ cup onion, chopped
- 1 celery stalk, chopped
- ½ cup diced tomatoes
- 1½ cups Italian-style bread crumbs
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese
- Halve the eggplant lengthwise and scoop out the flesh.Take care not to damage the skins as they will be used to hold the filling.
- Set the shells aside and chop the flesh.
- Heat the oil in a skillet over medium low heat.
- Saute the chopped eggplant along with the onion and celery until soft.
- Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes.
- While the vegetables cool, stir together the bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese and the egg.
- Stir together the cooked vegetables and the bread crumb mixture.
- Fill the reserved eggplant shells with the mixture and place in a lightly greased baking dish.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. During the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle with mozzarella or another cheese of choice.