Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Stuffed Eggplant

I've been stuffing all kinds of veggies lately. Bell peppers, zucchini, squash and now eggplant. It's a great way to get the most out of these kinds of veggies. Plus, it makes for a great display and the filling variations are endless.

These eggplants are stuffed with a mixture of ground beef, onion, red pepper, garlic and fresh herbs. This tasty mixture gets topped off with fresh tomatoes and cheese and baked until golden brown. You could also use the filling, which contains the flesh of the eggplant and bake it as a casserole or even even use the filling to stuff mushrooms.

If ground beef isn't your thing, ground turkey, chicken or pork would all be tasty too.
The most time consuming part of this recipe is hollowing out the eggplant, but once that's done, these are easy to make and assemble. I found that scoring the eggplant first with a knife and then scooping out the flesh with a spoon was the easiest way to get out the flesh.
 This filling is delicious and could easily be eaten with a spoon, but let's save it for the eggplant.
Once the eggplant is stuffed with the meat mixture it's topped off with fresh, bright tomatoes and buttery, nutty pecorino cheese. yum yum yum
 Bake and Enjoy!
Recipe Source: Food Network

Stuffed Eggplant
1 large eggplant
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 pound ground beef
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, small diced
1 red pepper, small diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley leaves
1/2 cup freshly chopped basil leaves, chopped
1 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano, divided
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 chopped tomatoes

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Cut the eggplant in half and scoop out the center, leaving enough meat inside the skin so that it holds its shape when baked. Boil the scooped-out center part until very soft, about 10 to 12 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add the seasoned ground beef to the pan and saute until all of its liquid is evaporated and the beef begins to brown slightly. Drain the beef, removing the extra, unnecessary fat. Let cool briefly and chop the cooked beef so that there are no large chunks of meat. In another medium saute pan over medium heat add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and saute the onions, peppers and garlic together.

In a bowl mix together the cooked eggplant, vegetables, cooked beef, herbs, 1 cup of the cheese, bread crumbs, and the egg.

Fill the scooped-out eggplant halves with this mixture, dividing it evenly among the 2 halves.

Top with chopped tomatoes and the remaining 1/4 cup of grated cheese, season with salt and pepper, place on an oiled oven tray or baking dish, and bake for 50 minutes in preheated oven. Let cool briefly, slice widthwise and serve.


Shauna said...

"but let's save it for the eggplant" made me laugh. They look delish. Wish I was dining at your house!

Honey said...

omgggggggg... this looks sooooo good. i have to make this. thanks for this recipe.


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