Monday, June 18, 2012

Stuffed Eggplant

Our Spring/Summer garden is off and running!  I'm growing this fabulous heirloom variety of eggplant called Listada de Gandia. It's from Spain and it is growing beautifully in our Florida soil.

 Isn't it amazing?
They are white with streaks of a rich plum purple color. I've never really cared for eggplant flavor or texture but these are soooo yummy! If you're thinking I must be lying...let's just say, my 2 yr old and 8 month old love it too!

After I picked all these the other day I had to come up with something for dinner and decided on stuffing them.  They were A-MA-ZING and the hubby requested I make these again.  They were a hit in my house and I hope this recipe will inspire you to head to your local farmer's market and support some organic growers of eggplant because nothing compares to a homegrown and local veggies!

Super easy to make... here goes:

1. Drizzle 1 tablespoon on olive oil in a saucepan and brown about 1 lb of ground meat (This is optional. I used ground beef)
2. Add 1/2 cup chopped onions and 2 cloves of minced garlic. Cook until meat is fully cooked and onions are soft.
3. Add any other veggies of your choice to meat mixture at this time- I used tomatoes from the garden.
4. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
5. Wash and slice about 4-5 eggplants lengthwise in half.
6. Use a spoon and scoop out the center and reserve.  Don't go to far with the spoon because you don't want to break through the skin.
7. Chop up what you scooped out of the eggplant into 1/2" cubes and add to meat mixture.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.
8. Add salt, pepper, cumin powder to taste.
9. Scoop meat mixture into eggplant boats and bake on a flat baking pan at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.
10. Garnish with chopped parsley and enjoy!
TIP- I like to slice a sliver off the bottom of the eggplant boats so they sit flat on my baking pan without rolling around. 

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