Greek-style Stuffed Eggplant

I’m sure I lost some of you just with the mention of eggplant, but I love eggplant.  And there’s lots of it at the farmer’s market right now.  I bought a great big one on Saturday and planned to make it last all week.  Tonight is round 1.  It sounded pretty good:  eggplant, onions, garlic, feta – all good.

Pros:  It’s easy and quick enough for a week night dinner.  It’s healthy and low calorie.

Cons:  The taste is fair, but not terrific.  The texture is terrible.  No hot, adult food should have this texture.  It’s really, really mushy.

I ate it for dinner and survived, but spent the whole meal trying to think of ways to improve the leftovers, and thus increase the odds that I will actually eat them. (That is when I wasn’t missing the truly fabulousNY strip sandwich I had for lunch yesterday and again today).   If you want to keep it vegetarian I’d say add some rice cooked in vegetable stock.  Honestly I’m not sure that will be enough because it doesn’t address the flavor issue.  Maybe some fresh oregano too.  My plan, being unconstrained by vegetarian concerns, is to dump the stuffing out of the remaining shell and add some browned ground lamb.  That will dial up the flavor a bunch and help with the texture as well.  It may be that it takes both the lamb and the rice to really save this.

A couple of other things.  The recipe instructs you to add the eggplant to the pan first and saute 7 minutes.  If I were to make this again (and I won’t) I would add the onion first.  I used tomatoes from the garden which certainly can’t hurt. Also, I used panko instead of traditional bread crumbs.  Good call there.  Panko is crunchier than regular bread crumbs and that’s important here.  It’s the best texture in the whole thing.  And thank goodness for good quality parmesan cheese.

Long story short, if you’re on the fence about eggplant don’t make your final judgment based on this dish.

Good? Not really.
Easy? Yep.
Good for company? Only if you don’t want them to come back.
Special shopping? Nope.

Greek-Style Stuffed Eggplant

Ingredients

  • 2  eggplants, cut in half lengthwise (about 3 pounds)
  • 1/4  cup  water
  • Cooking spray
  • 1  cup  chopped onion
  • 1  cup  chopped plum tomato
  • 1/4  cup  white wine
  • 3  garlic cloves, minced
  • 1  cup  (4 ounces) crumbled feta cheese
  • 1/2  cup  chopped fresh parsley, divided
  • 3/4  teaspoon  salt, divided
  • 1/4  teaspoon  freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 C  panko
  • 2  tablespoons  grated fresh Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Carefully remove pulp from each eggplant, reserving shells. Coarsely chop pulp to measure 6 cups. Place eggplant shells, cut sides down, in a 10-inch square baking dish. Add water to dish. Cover and microwave at high 5 minutes or until shells are tender. Keep warm.

Preheat broiler.

Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add eggplant pulp; saute 7 minutes. Add onion; sauté 2 minutes. Stir in tomato, wine, and garlic; cook 3 minutes or until liquid almost evaporates, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat; add feta, 1/4 cup parsley, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper, stirring to combine. Spoon 3/4 cup eggplant mixture into each eggplant shell.

Place the bread slices in food processor; pulse 10 times or until coarse crumbs measure 1 cup. Combine breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup parsley, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and Parmesan, stirring well. Sprinkle 1/4 cup breadcrumb mixture over each stuffed shell. Arrange shells on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray; broil 2 minutes or until lightly browned.

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One Response to “Greek-style Stuffed Eggplant”

  1. Christie Says:

    I love your honesty!

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