roasted eggplant {stuffed}

Stuffed Roasted Eggplant www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com
One of the things I am loving most about Jerusalem, the Ottolenghi cookbook, is that it is teaching me new ways to think about vegetables. After living in Italy for so long, I’ve become very lazy when it comes to dealing with things like zucchini, eggplant and tomatoes, kind of doing the same thing over and over.


So I was really happy to discover a completely easy and delicious way to play with eggplant. I forget the original ingredients in Jerusalem stuffed eggplant recipe, but the main part that has stuck with me the last few weeks has been the first step: slice the eggplants in half, lengthwise, score them and roast them.

That’s it.

Then, once cooked, you can pretty much do what you will with them. Top them, stuff them. Whatever.

Last week I worked in some of the intense cherry tomatoes from our garden, as well as a few green frigitelli peppers. Raisins, pine nuts and a bit of mint made it vaguely Sicilian feeling. And since I also had a cup of left over fregola (a Sardinian small dry pasta) I threw that in too.

A bit of feta left over from the previous day’s Greek Salad and that was it.

I’m going to write the recipe for this below, but please don’t worry if you don’t have any of the ingredients. I’ve already made it with mostly onions and olives, and plan on doing porky version tonight. I’m even thinking that something with an egg baked into each half might be good too.

The genius about this dish is that depending on what you put into it, it can be a first course, side dish or (if you add meat or egg) even a main course.

So please play around with this one. But do check back in to let me know how it goes.
Eggplants www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Eggplants, scored and ready to bake www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Frigitelli Peppers www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Cherry Tomatoes www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com
 
roasted stuffed eggplants

3 medium eggplants
4 tablespoons olive oil plus more for brushing
4 frigitelli peppers (I think they are also called Romano or Carmen peppers. Or if you can’t find them, one green bell pepper), chopped in small pieces
1 medium red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half.
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/3 cup raisins
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup chopped parsley
1 cup cooked fregola (you can use rice or any other grain or small pasta like orzo)
1/2 cup crumbled feta

Preheat oven to 180C/ 350F

Slice each eggplant in half, length wise. Using a sharp knife, score the flesh in a diamond pattern, being careful not to break through the skin. Brush flesh with olive oil, and place on cooking sheet, flesh side up. Bake until tender and just staring to brown. About 25 minutes

In the meantime pour olive oil into frying pan and add onions and peppers. Cook over medium heat until softened, about 8 – 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Add tomatoes and cook until they just start to soften. Add pine nuts and raisins and cook until the pine nuts begin to brown a bit.

Place the onion mixture in a bowl and add mint.

When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, gently scoop up the flesh, being careful not to break the skin shells. Add flesh to onion mixture and stir.

Lightly salt each eggplant shell, then divide the mixture between them. Top with a bit of crumbled feta

Place back in hot oven and cook for about 15 minutes.

Serve warm or at room temperature.
Stuffed Roasted Eggplant www.ElizabethMinchilliInRome.com

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Pin on PinterestTweet about this on TwitterEmail this to someone

Comments

  1. says

    Thanks for the inspiration. I love Jerusalem (and Plenty) and have been using them a lot while vegetables are fresh here in Vermont.

    And I made your bean salad the other night with some leftover chick peas (I used the rest for Ottolenghi’s hummus recipe), broad beans, and red beans. The anchovies in the dressing are a brilliant touch: I added some capers to boost the umami in the salad a bit more.

  2. says

    I’m now planning what I will call Farmer’s Market Eggplant — whatever besides eggplant I find at Saturday’s local Farmers Market is going on the table Saturday night. Promise to report back. Your post also inspired me to take my usual preparation of Borlotti (white wine, celery, tomato, rosemary) and load it on top of the eggplant. Hmmm. Sounds like it needs cheese? Will keep you posted.

  3. Anonymous says

    Reading the recipe (before your notes) it definitely struck me as something Siciian… looks and sounds wonderful as always…

  4. Anonymous says

    My Grandmother would make this all the time when we just picked the fresh vegetables from our Garden. Looks Good Thanks for sharing

    Janet

    • says

      Me too, it’s my favorite! I’ve had it for years, but sort of kept it aside for ‘special’ occasions. Then I thought, forget it! I’m using it every day. And it makes me so happy to do so.

  5. Anonymous says

    I think this would be a wonderful dish to do on the grill, halving the tomato, onion and green peppers and then chopping when cooked. Can’t wait to try it.

  6. says

    Elizabeth, this post made me smile. Now that summer vegetables are at their peak, I think that we are all pulling out Ottolenghi’s cookbooks! I made his “Surprise Tatin” from Plenty last night for dinner. I substituted out goat cheese for feta — and next time, I will add a layer of roasted eggplant. It was brilliant. Will need to try this recipe next.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current ye@r *