Thursday, April 05, 2012
Emily's Stuffed Eggplant
Inspired by my February outing to Anatolia Turkish Restaurant in Nashville, I've been making a fair number of eggplant dishes lately. Anytime I see them dip below $1.99 a piece, I snag a few of these purple beauties for stuffed eggplant. My version of the dish is less saucy than Anatolia's. Plus ground turkey or chicken sub in for the cubed lamb and I added some mozzerella to the top to weld it all together.
If you'd like to try it:
1. Halve eggplants and slather in olive oil before placing cut-side down on a large baking sheet. I use a jelly roll pan lined with oiled foil. Bake at 400 degrees until eggplant is extremely tender and skins are a little shrivelled. (Somewhere around 45 minutes)
2. While eggplants are getting soft, saute your favorite vegetables to go inside, such as bell peppers (any color), mushrooms, zucchini, onion and tomato. (Maybe 2 peppers, 1 cup mushroom, 2 zuch, 2 tomatoes, 1/2 onion.)
3. Next, saute a pound of ground turkey or chicken with onion powder, garlic powder, oregano and a dash of cumin. Add fresh chopped onion and garlic and salt to taste. All the seasonings are to taste. You can't really overdo it with any of them except the salt, in my opinion.
4. Blend the tender vegetables with the cooked ground meat in a bowl.
5. Take eggplant out of the oven and flip each half over. Scoop the vegetable and meat mixture over each half and top with a generous sprinkling of shredded mozzerella.
6. Return to oven and cook until cheese has melted or slightly browned.
This recipe makes enough for two or three eggplants-- so four to six servings-- depending on the size of the eggplants and how many veggies you cook and whether you like to have still crisp veggies or completely soft veggies. For this dish, I like everything to be uniformly mushy :) It's the ultimate vegetable-rich comfort food.
Another note: When selecting eggplant, I find it's best to choose slender fruits rather than the seedier bulbous ones. If you do get a lot of seeds, you can scoop some of it out after the first baking and before you stuff them with filling.