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Mushroom-Stuffed Eggplant

Photo: Anna Williams
Active time 30 mins
Total time 1 hr, 10 mins
Yield 4

Ingredients

  • 4 (2 1/2 pounds) Italian eggplants
  • Salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound oyster mushrooms, sliced lengthwise 1/4 inch thick
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 medium red onion, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 ounces stale baguette, cut into 1/2-inch dice, soaked in 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 ounces young pecorino, diced
  • 3/4 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley

How to Make It

  1. Halve the eggplants lengthwise and cut out the flesh, leaving 1/4-inch shells. Cut the flesh into 1/2-inch dice. Salt the eggplant shells and let stand for 30 minutes. Pat the shells dry.

  2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Rub the eggplants with oil; set them on a rimmed baking sheet, cut side down. Add 1/4 cup of water, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile, in a skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook over moderate heat until tender; transfer to a bowl. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in the skillet. Add the diced eggplant. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook until tender and browned, 3 minutes; add to the mushrooms.

  4. Add the garlic, onion and 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the skillet. Cover and cook, until softened. Add the cumin and 1 tablespoon of the butter and stir until fragrant, 1 minute; add to the mushrooms. Stir in the wine-soaked bread, cheese and broth and season the filling with salt and pepper.

  5. Increase the oven temperature to 425°. Turn the eggplant shells cut side up and fill with the bread stuffing. Dot the tops with the remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and bake in the upper third of the oven for 10 minutes.

  6. Preheat the broiler. Broil the eggplant 4 inches from the heat until browned, 2 minutes. Top with the parsley and serve.