Vegetarian Menu

Stuffed eggplant

stuffed eggplant (Food styling by Sheryl Julian and Lisa Falso; Essdras M Suarez, Globe Staff)
February 10, 2010

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Serves 2 with leftovers

Olive oil (for the dish and sprinkling)
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1 1/2 cups soft bread crumbs
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 Italian eggplant (about 8 ounces each)
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 can (14 1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes
1 small zucchini, coarsely chopped
1/2 cup crumbled feta

1. Set the oven at 375 degrees. Lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch baking dish.

2. In a small bowl, mix 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, 1/2 cup of the bread crumbs, and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil; set aside.

3. Halve the eggplant lengthwise. Use a sharp-edged spoon to scoop out the eggplant flesh, leaving a 3/8-inch thick shell. Sprinkle the shells with olive oil and salt. Set them in the baking dish. Roast the shells for 25 minutes or until they are tender.

4. Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the onion, garlic, and oregano to the pan. Cook, stirring often, for 5 minutes or until the onion softens.

5. Coarsely chop the eggplant flesh. Add it to the pan with the tomatoes, zucchini, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes, or until the vegetables are cooked through. Remove the pan from the heat; leave to cool slightly.

6. Stir the feta, remaining 1 cup bread crumbs, and remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan into the warm eggplant mixture. Taste for seasoning. Fill the eggplant shells. Top with the bread crumb mixture.

7. Bake the eggplant for 35 minutes or until the bread crumbs are golden and the mixture is hot. (Save 2 eggplant halves for tomorrow’s baked penne.)

Sally Pasley Vargas