Vegetables are beautiful! I love making eggplant this way because you keep the gorgeous form of the fruit (Ok, yes. Its a fruit). This recipe is a celebration of the summer harvest; using tomatoes, basil and eggplant. Its also so rustic Italian, I'm compelled to blow the dust off of my Rosetta Stone discs!
Heres what you'll need for three stuffed eggplant halves (pictured):
- 2 large eggplants
- 2 cupstomatoes, chopped (we used cherry tomatoes and sunbursts, but any tomato will do)
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
- basil, large bunch
- olive oil, 3-5 tbsp
- 1 cup vegetable or chicken stock (or white wine)
- red pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp
- salt & pepper
- mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup, shredded
- parmesan, 1/4 cup, grated
- bread crumbs, 2 tbsp. (optional)
Here's what you'll do:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Prepare your eggplants: Halve both eggplants. Scoop the meat from 3 of the halves and leave 1 half to chop for the filling. Coat the 3 halves with olive oil and season with salt & pepper. (use your hands to season & coat the outside and inside). Place on a baking sheet, cut-side up and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes; until the eggplant shells are tender. Remove from the oven and reserve.
3. Meanwhile, chop the remaining half eggplant into cubes.
4. In a large skillet over medium high heat, add 3 tbsp. oil, garlic, cubed eggplant, chopped tomatoes, red pepper flakes, salt & pepper. Add handful of torn basil.
5. Cook on the stovetop until the mixture combines about 20 minutes. Add stock or wine to create a sauce-like consistency. Taste to adjust seasoning. The mixture is done when the eggplant and tomatoes are softened.
5. Scoop the eggplant-tomato mixture into the 3 eggplant halves.
6. Top each half with mozzarella, parmesan and bread crumbs.
7. Return to the oven for 5-8 minutes until cheese is melted.
8. Let sit for 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with torn basil leaves and more parmesan.
Mangiare le verdue! (& frutta)
xo & a pinch,