Monday, August 18, 2014

Stuffed Eggplant

Thanks to Amanda in Monroeville for this savory eggplant idea. We've had more eggplants this year than ever before, so we appreciate the new ideas.

She notes: "I started with a real recipe then kind of made this one up-the original used a breadcrumb/parsley mixture on top and some different cheese, but ours ended up pretty good. Everything in this recipe was from the CSA or our own garden except the cheese, although I think the Smoked Havarti from last week would've worked, we'd just eaten it already."

Cut eggplant in half lengthwise, hollow out (approximately half an inch from the edge).  Put the halves aside-- I salted them heavily and let them sit for a half hour or so to help with the bitterness of eggplant, then rinsed them before proceeding.
Take the stuff you scooped out of the eggplant and chop-- I let mine sit in salt water, then rinsed twice before moving on.
Brown a pound of ground beef (I used the yummy, lean CRO package), add seasoning as desired (I used some minced garlic and an Italian herb mix).
Add the chopped eggplant and some chopped kale (that wasn't in the original recipe).  At this point, I took my portion out to stuff my half, then added chopped orange bell pepper (from our garden-- original recipe was for a red bell pepper and I'm sure whatever kind you like would work) and some of the candy onion that we'd previously caramelized.  I don't like pepper and onion, but my husband does, so this was for his half.
Fill the eggplant halves to overflowing, top with chopped tomato (I used heirloom tomato from our garden, we started them from seeds from the heirlooms we got with CRO last year) and grated parmesan.
Place in a glass dish and bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.  I added some shredded cheddar to mine for the last 15 minutes of bake time-- I'll probably try a somewhat stronger cheese next time, but that's what I had sitting around.  The eggplant was really soft after that long, so if you like your eggplant crisper don't cook it as long.

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