Photo: Howard L. Puckett; Styling: Cindy Manning Barr
Yield
8 servings (serving size: 2 pieces stuffed eggplant and 2 tablespoons sauce)

Top eggplant pieces with a mixture of breadcrumbs, eggplant flesh, tomato sauce and cheese for a meatless, Mediterranean-style side dish.

How to Make It

Step 1

Cut eggplant lengthwise into quarters, and cut each quarter crosswise into 4 pieces. Combine the eggplant and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a large saucepan; add water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 8 minutes or just until pulp can be removed from peel. Carefully remove pulp, reserving peels. Mash pulp; set aside.

Step 2

Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add eggplant pulp and onion; sauté for 7 minutes or until tender. Remove from heat; stir in breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Romano cheese, parsley, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and 1 minced garlic clove.

Step 3

Arrange reserved eggplant peels in a single layer in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon about 2 tablespoons eggplant mixture onto each peel. Bake at 350° for 20 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Step 4

Place a saucepan coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Add 1 minced garlic clove; sauté 30 seconds. Add tomato sauce, basil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper, and cook 3 minutes or until heated. Spoon sauce over eggplant; sprinkle with remaining cheese, and garnish with parsley, if desired. Serve warm.

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