Hey there folks! Looking for a meatless entree for lunch? I have the perfect recipe just for you. Here you see this beautiful stuffed eggplant served on a leafy of curly green lettuce accompanied by home grown tomatoes. Oh, did I tell you the eggplants and the herbs were also home grown as well. This is one recipe that you will definitely want to tuck away for your vegetarian friends. Besides, this one takes advantage of produce you may be growing in your backyard.
The key to this jewel is to select small eggplants, not more than 5-inches long. The larger ones tend to be bitter with large seeds. If that is your only option, do not despair. Instead of cutting the eggplant in half, simply slice the eggplant into 1-inch slices; place a scoop of the "filling" on top along with a generous helping of toasted gluten free bread crumbs.
By now, along with the picture of this yummy side/luncheon entree, I probable have your curiosity at its peak. Want to know just how I did this? Well, Here's my recipe:
2 small eggplants, approximately 4 to 5 inches long
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
1/2 cup sweet red onions, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Organic Ville gluten free marinara sauce
1/4 cup olives, pimento stuffed & finely chopped
1 cup provolone cheese, grated
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
1/4 cup black olives, sliced
1/4 cup artichoke hearts, drained & chopped
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
1 cup Ener-G gluten free bread crumbs, toasted,
Here's how I did this:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit
2. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise, leaving stem intact. Using a large spoon, scoop out the center to around 1/4 inch of peel, reserving center. Brush eggplant shells with olive oil, inside and out, and salt to taste.
3. Spray baking dish with cooking spray, place shells inside dish, cut side up, cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. When shells finish baking, remove from oven, remove foil and allow eggplant to cool.
4. Chop reserved eggplant centers into approximately 1/4 inch cubes.
5. Heat remaining oil in skillet on medium high, add onion, stirring frequently, until onion appears clear, about 3 minutes. Add chopped eggplant; cook for 4 minutes stirring constantly. Add garlic, olives, oregano, basil, thyme, cheese and marinara, stirring until mixed well.
6. Place stuffing mixture into the 4 shells. Be careful not to burn yourself. Both mixture and shells may be hot. Place 1/4 cup breadcrumbs on each shell.
7. Return stuffed shells to oven, uncovered, and bake for 30 minutes. During last 5 minutes, check to ensure breadcrumbs do not burn. Serve with salad or sliced tomatoes.
Oven Temperature: 350°F
Preparation Time: 45 minutes
Cooking Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour and 25 minutes
Calories Per Serving: 361.33
Author's Note: This delightful dish very easily be turned into an entree by simply browning 1/3 pound of ground chuck and stirring into the stuffing
Author: Dr. Jacquelyn P. Horne