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Sunday, February 26, 2012

The beauty of eggplant

Eggplant may be one of the most underappreciated vegetables. No one in my family will eat it and in truth I love it in a few dishes but can't think of many appealing ways to fix it--it soaks up so much grease. But I bought these two beauties to make eggplant parmesan for company. My longtime friend Linda and her husband, Rodger, came for supper last night. A couple of days ago, at memoir class, I gave Linda three menu choices: eggplant parmesan, lamb shanks or mustard/rosemary crusted pork loin. I expected her to choose the pork loin but she said Rodger would probably want the lamb shanks--I agreed they sound heavy--and she loves eggplant parmesan. So that was my project yesterday morning.
I've had this recipe for years and can't remember where I got it, but it calls for ground beef--to my mind, egglant parmesan (or Parmeganio) is often vegetarian. In this version, you stir the sauteed eggplant into a mix of sauteed beef and tomato sauces; add parmesan, breadcrumbs, and eggplant;  stuff mixture into the eggplant shells. Top with mozarella and broil. Makes a pretty presentation, if I do say so.
This with the marinated veggies I wrote about in a previous post made a complete supper. Oh, there were those chocolate/mint truffles--my splurge at Central Market.

Eggplant parmesan

Trim two eggplants, halve lengthwise, and hollow out, leaving shells intact, about 1/4 inch thick. Cut meat of the plant into 1/2 inch cubes and saute in vegetable oil until soft. Drain on paper towels.

In skillet, brown 2 lbs. ground beef, 2 crushed galic coves. Add 2 cans (14 oz. each) diced tomatoes, 2 cans tomato paste, 1 tsp. salt, pepper to taste.  Simmer 15 minutes.

Stir in 3 c. bread crumbs (about six slices), 2/3 c. grated parmesan, and sauteed eggplant.

Spoon into eggplant shells--it will not all fit, so put the excess in a side dish. Top with mozzarella slices and bake for 30 minutes at 350.

This will serve five to six, but only four people get the pretty shells.

1 comment:

  1. I make ratatouille [eggplant, zucchini, onions, and tomatoes with lots of garlic] and cook it until is't all soft and then use that for a spaghetti sauce. It freezes wonderfully. There really aren't any set proportions to this, just mess with it until it tastes good to you!

    I love eggplant sliced and topped with a mix of equal parts of parmesan and Hellman's mayonnaise. Just spread the sliced egglant with this mixture amd bake until the eggplant is soft.