Tasty Stuffed Eggplants
I love eggplant (I’ve mentioned this before) and so I have been very excited to have fresh ones coming in ripe in our garden. Earlier this week (on Sunday). Eliza and I whipped up a quick dish of fresh eggplants and some chanterelles we’d found earlier in the day. We cooked it with a simple white wine roux. It was really good. This was a good meal but it was not the one I wanted to talk about here. What I wanted to talk about is the stuffed eggplants that Evan and I cooked last night.
Eliza and I had gone over to Evan and Meg’s house for dinner and we brought with us a large selection of our recently picked fresh produce. The four of us didn’t have any real idea what we were going to cook. There had bene some earlier discussion of maybe making a chutney of some sorts, and Meg had also cooked up some rice. Then there were some mushroom ravioli (some porcini ones and delicious homemade whole wheat chanterelle and pine nut by Evan and Meg). Anyways, looking at what we had and thinking about what we wanted we came up with the idea for stuffed eggplants. Here is what was in them.
- Fresh eggplants. I suppose you could use store-bought ones if that is the only kind you can get, but fresh eggplants are a true delight and they definitely added to the overall success of this dish. The ons we used were all a little larger than a baseball. We cut off the tops and hollowed them out with spoons leaving the walls about half to three quarters inch thick.
- Filling: Which was the following
- Ground dried chanterelles. To grind them Evan threw them in his spice designated coffee grinder and gave a few good pulses.
- Breadcrumbs. We used Italian because they were available but probably any would work. I would strongly consider homemade.
- Cooked rice. I think ours was white but I see no reason why you couldn’t use brown or another variety.
- Homemade goat cheese. We used some of the leftover cheese that we made last week. This leftover goat cheese had been flavored with herbs, lemon juice, and roasted garlic.
- Finely chopped tomato. Fresh is best but feel free to use what you’ve got.
- Garlic. An obvious ingredient I’d hope.
- Salt and pepper.
Really this is about it. We filled the hollowed out eggplants and put them in the oven to bake. I want to say we let them bake for between 30 and 45 minutes (but honestly I can’t remember). I think the temp was set to 400° (yeah, vaguely defined directions, y’all are a smart bunch, you’ll figure this part out on your own). Anyway, they were awesome. The eggplants we used were a variety of color; some dark purple, some purple and white, and some green; however, they all turned a lovely bronze color after baking.
With the stuffed eggplants we also ate the ravioli, which we topped with a baked tomato sauce. Basically we cut up a bunch of tomatoes, topped them with chanterelles, garlic, onion, eggplant flesh (scooped out of from the stuffed ones — waste not, want not you know), breadcrumbs, and grated parmesan cheese, and then threw them in the oven with the baking eggplants. Also really good stuff.
All and all this dinner was fantastic. And of course we paired it with some delightful beer (both Evan and I’s homebrews as well as a few commercial craft beers). I wish I had some pictures to show you but alas I do not. But here, you can see a picture of eggplants (taken by Eliza).