Stuffed Eggplants 026 Edited Stuffed! Eggplants

About this time last year, I thought it would be fun to share a few different recipes about foods cooks and bakers can stuff. The idea came to me since stuffing is my favorite dish at the Thanksgiving table. I am a bit behind the curve this year, but so far I have managed to stuff an eggplant that I very much enjoyed.

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 was just not something popular in my family, or if its just not popular at all.

Though my experience is limited, I do enjoy eggplant. Its meaty texture reminds me a lot of a large Portobello (or Portabella) mushroom. I really like those as part of a grilled vegetable sandwich. Has anyone ever made an burger-type sandwich with eggplant slices to mimic the meat?

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Too Cute!

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 share come November. 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! page and refer to the tomato and pepper recipes.

In the meantime, I am off to find other stuffed foods to prepare and share. At this point, my ideas are limited. For all I know, you could soon be looking at celery lined with cream cheese or peanut butter if I do not get a move on. Until then, enjoy!

Stuffed Eggplants 006 Edited Stuffed! Eggplants

*Shame on anyone who thought I was going to use the example of, say, a bar.

Stuffed! Eggplants
 
Author:
Ingredients
  • 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
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. Set the shells aside and chop the flesh.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium low heat.
  4. Saute the chopped eggplant along with the onion and celery until soft.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes.
  6. While the vegetables cool, stir together the bread crumbs, grated Parmesan cheese and the egg.
  7. Stir together the cooked vegetables and the bread crumb mixture.
  8. Fill the reserved eggplant shells with the mixture and place in a lightly greased baking dish.
  9. Bake at 350 degrees F for about 20 minutes. During the last few minutes of baking, sprinkle with mozzarella or another cheese of choice.
Notes
Though I used Italian-style bread crumbs, one can always use plain and season to taste.

 

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