Thursday, September 16, 2010
The early fall is now among us, and it's time to put that vegetable harvest to use. I put this recipe together from a handful of other stuffed eggplant recipes that are available online, picking and choosing a few ingredients and steps from each. The nice thing about this recipe is that you can adapt your own touch by adjusting ingredients and seasonings to your liking. The basics to the filling are the garlic, onion, breadcrumbs and eggplant pulp. The peppers, shrimp and tomatoes were a personal preference. You can add whatever else you wish to the filling (olives, pine nuts, sausage, ground meat, raisins, etc.).
1 large eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 tablespoon butter
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper, diced
1/2 container cherry tomatoes, chopped
1 cup chopped shrimp, uncooked
salt and fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
Shredded Mozzarella Cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 350º
Place the eggplant halves, cut side down, on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Bake for 30-35 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven; cool on baking sheet for 10 minutes. Remove inside pulp, leaving a 1/3 to 1/2-inch thick shell; reserve eggplant shell. Chop/smush pulp.
Heat olive oil and butter in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, stir for one minute. Add garlic, peppers and tomatoes, stir until crisp tender. Add shrimp, stir until they turn pink. Add chopped eggplant, salt and pepper, Italian seasonings, and parmesan cheese, stir. Reduce heat, simmer 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add breadcrumbs, stir, let simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat.
Place eggplant shells, open side facing up on a cookie sheet. Drizzle some olive oil and add some salt and fresh ground pepper to the inside of the shell. Fill each shell with the eggplant stuffing. Bake at 350º for 25 minutes. Remove from oven, sprinkle some shredded mozzarella or parmesan cheese on top of eggplants. Place under broiler for 5 minutes, or until top becomes lightly browned and crisp.