Eggplant makes a satisfying vegetarian dinner when stuffed with tomato and peppers and served with rice. Feta cheese adds tang and body to the stuffing.
2 medium eggplants, each cut in half lengthwise (about 2 pounds)
1 (1-ounce) slice white bread
1 teaspoon extravirgin olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped onion
1 1/4 cups finely chopped red bell pepper
1 cup finely chopped seeded plum tomato
1 teaspoon chopped fresh or 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup (3 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
How to Make It
Preheat oven to 400°.
Score cut side of each eggplant half by making 4 crosswise cuts. Place the eggplant halves, cut sides down, on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 25 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven; cool on pan 10 minutes. Carefully remove pulp, leaving a 1/3-inch-thick shell; reserve eggplant shells. Chop pulp.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
Place bread in a food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1/2 cup. Drizzle the breadcrumbs with olive oil, and pulse to combine.
Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add onion; sauté 3 minutes. Stir in the chopped eggplant, bell pepper, tomato, oregano, and garlic; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and cook 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; stir in cheese, parsley, salt, and black pepper. Stuff each eggplant shell with about 1/2 cup onion mixture; sprinkle with breadcrumb mixture. Place on a baking sheet; bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated and lightly browned.
Made this for dinner tonight and it was yummy. Shockingly my meat loving hubby loved it. Simple to make, but probably a weekend meal due to cook time. Or make the night before and add bread crumbs and bake when ready to eat. I used whole wheat bread crumbs and fat free feta. My husband suggested the addition of red pepper flakes next time. I agree that the stuffing might benefit from rice or quinoa being mixed in rather than served on the side. We'll be making this again.
I've tried cooking with eggplant about 5 previous times and this is the first time the outcome was edible. This was even more than that: it was yummy. Changes: I used gorgonzola instead of feta; used panko breadcrumbs and mixed in a little olive oil; broiled at the end to brown the bread crumbs. I really enjoyed this and would consider other variations like adding some spinach and mushrooms and perhaps some quinoa or rice into the mixture. The texture of the stuffing could use some variation.
I did not have a red bell pepper so subbed a jalapeño pepper and two orange mini peppers. Decided to use parmesan instead feta. Also used panko and just sprinkled over the top then sprayed olive oil over the eggplant before placing in oven. Delish!