Friday, September 4, 2009
I was never a huge eggplant fan growing up. I don't think that I hated them, but they would have never made my list of favorite vegetables. Now I can't go to the farmers' market without buying at least one. I even tried to grow eggplant this year, but it didn't quite work out (I only got one... and I'm pretty sure that it should get bigger, but it hasn't grown in a couple of weeks). It's an intimidating vegetable - it can be bitter or dry and chewy if not prepared correctly - but it's definitely worth experimenting until you get it right.
I was inspired to stuff eggplant again from a post at Healthy Green Kitchen, and I'm a big fan of this recipe. I particularly liked the addition of pumpkin seeds for a little bit of crunch, and the yogurt held the stuffing together so that I didn't make a huge mess when trying to eat it. I was sad that the beautiful stripes in the eggplant faded into a dull purple when it was baked, but I got over it pretty quickly once I tasted it. I'm submitting this dish to Weekend Herb Blogging, which is organized by Haalo from Cook (almost) Anything At Least Once, and is hosted by Chris from Mele Cotte this week.
Red quinoa and mushroom stuffed eggplant (adapted from Healthy Green Kitchen)
1 medium eggplant, stem end removed
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz button mushrooms, sliced thinly
2 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced (or 2 tsp dried)
1/4 cup dry white wine
3 cups spinach
salt and pepper to taste
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup plain yogurt
2 cups cooked red quinoa
1/2 cup pumpkin seeds
Cut eggplant in half lengthwise, and scoop out most of the insides (leaving about 1/4" attached to the peel). Chop the insides and set aside.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion until it's tender, and then add the garlic and cook for another minute. Stir in the chopped eggplant, mushrooms, rosemary, and wine. Let this cook until the mushrooms and eggplant are tender and the wine has evaporated. Then add the spinach and cook another couple of minutes until the leaves wilt. Season with salt and pepper. Add this mixture to a mixing bowl with the egg, yogurt, and quinoa.
Toast the pumpkin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat until they start to pop (about 5 min), stirring frequently. Then stir the seeds in with the other filling ingredients.
Place eggplant shells in a baking dish and rub the insides with olive oil. Stuff with the filling mixture, spreading any extra filling around the shells in the baking dish. Cover the dish with foil and bake at 400 for 25 min. Then remove the foil and bake for another 20 min. Serves 3.