Monday, September 20, 2010

In A Purple Kind of Mood

I’ve always kind of battled with eggplant. It’s no enemy like bananas are, but they’re just weird to me. Is it a fruit? Is it a vegetable? Why does it soak up all of my EVOO like a sponge and get all brown like my stupid bananas? I dunno, it sounds like a cool vegetable to like and maybe order at a restaurant to impress people. *mmm..yes, I’ll be having the eggplant*. It’s beautifully purple and has a cool little green stem thingy on top. Plus, if you froze it you could probably use it to roll out your pastry dough. So I’ve really tried to enjoy eggplant over the years. My best friend’s mother is Sicilian and she can make anything taste good just by looking at it so her eggplant is always amazing. (Rosalie is her name and I’ll have to do another separate post about her. She’s the most amazing cook I’ve ever met.)

Well, I regularly read “Organic Soul” which is a blog about all things organic, mainly recipes and what not, but last week there was an eggplant recipe. It sparked my interest because it was a “stuffed” eggplant that had beef in it along with spinach, mushrooms, onions and fresh herbs. Thought it sounded pretty yummy. My husband and I don’t cook with ground beef, so I switched that out with ground turkey and it worked out perfectly. How’d they turn out you might ask? Well, they looked gorgeous. I sprinkled them with a little Pecorino Romano cheese since I had a fresh brick of it in the cheese drawer but that wasn’t in the recipe either. I have to say they’re quite tasty! The recipe is a bit labor intensive but I prepared my veggies and meat ahead of time so that cut some of the time. I hope you try these “Eggplant Boats”. I served them with some organic, whole wheat pasta and a nice glass of red wine. Enjoy!

Stuffed Eggplant
1 large eggplant
1 cup onion, chopped
1 cup mushrooms, chopped (optional, I used extra spinach)
1 cup spinach, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh oregano, chopped
2 Tablespoons parsley, chopped
salt/ pepper
1 pound of ground organic turkey
¼ cup tomato paste
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Remove pulp leaving ½ inch of the outer shell. Dice the pulp.
3. Sauté the onions, garlic and meat until almost done, add the mushrooms, diced eggplant pulp, spinach, fresh herbs, salt and pepper and continue to sauté an additional 2 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and remove from stove.
4. Brush the inside of the eggplant shell with olive oil
5. Spoon mixture into eggplant shell and drizzle olive oil on top. Cover and bake for 45 minutes.
6. Top with grated Pecorino Romano cheese and enjoy!

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