Saturday, March 14, 2009

Baked Eggplant with Savory Cheese Stuffing

Veggie Night in the Wilson household, and boy did I hear it.  What no meat?  Once they started eating they were really enjoying themselves, and didn't even miss the meat.  Go figure.  This is a Cooking Light recipe, which I modified.  

2 Eggplants, cut in half lengthwise
Cooking Spray
1/2 cup Panko
1 tsp. Olive oil
1 1/2 cups finely chopped Onion
1 1/4 cups finely chopped Red Bell Pepper
1 cup chopped seeded Plum Tomato
1/4 tsp. dried Oregano
2 Garlic Cloves, minced
3/4 cup crumbled Feta
1 T. dries Parsley (Areogarden is almost ready, I can't wait)
3/4 tsp. Salt
1/4 tsp. Pepper

  1. Preheat oven to 400.
  2. Score cut side of each eggplant half by making 4 crosswise cuts.  Place eggplant, cut side down, on a foil lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray.  Bake at 400 for 25 minutes.  Remove from oven; cool on pan 10 minutes.  Carefully remove pulp, leaving 1/3 inch thick shell; reserve eggplant shells.  Chop pulp.
  3. Reduce oven temp. to 350.  
  4. Heat a large non-stick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium high heat.  Add onion, saute 3 minutes.  Stir in chopped eggplant, bell pepper, tomato, oregano, garlic; cover, reduce heat, and simmer, stirring occasionally.  Uncover and cook 5 minutes or until liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally.  Remove from heat; stir in cheese, parsley, salt, and pepper.  Stuff each eggplant shell with about 1/2 cup onion mixture; sprinkle with panko, and drizzle with olive oil.  Place on a baking sheet; bake at 350 for 30 minutes or until thoroughly heated and slightly brown.   
THE VERDICT:  Definitely going to make this again.  It is so savory, and a perfect light meal.  I served this with Creamy Parmesan Orzo, which is posted below.  You can make this ahead, and then bake when ready.