This time of year it is tricky to find good eggplants. I was in the mood for making a vegetarian, light Italian dish to warm up my kitchen and make it smell of garlic, tomatoes, and basil. It is freezing out and being close to my warm stove makes me happy at times. I took a ride first to my fave Asian market in Ridgewood, Ridgewood Fisheries and bought my little eggplants. They were bright lavender and looked perfect. I also had some beautiful red plum tomatoes, a basil plant, lots of garlic, some vidalia onion they had at Fresh Market and lots of yellow bell peppers, organic dinosaur kale and my great JD balsamic vinegar. Happy , happy! Not to mention, I had a hunk of fresh parmegiano reggiano and some fresh made mozzarella along with some homemade (not by me) ravioli’s. I also made a tomato and basil sauce while the eggplants were roasting.
2-4 tbls extra virgin olive oil
4 cloves smashed and chopped garlic
1/3 cup chopped onion
4 long slim lavender eggplants (any ep can be used)
1 small zucchini , a yellow pepper, chopped kale, chopped plum tomatoes, chopped basil , chop the inside of the eggplants.
Take the eggplants and scoop out the flesh as best as you can. I took a sharp paring knife and made a long hole into it, so I could fill it with the stuffing.
Take the insides of the eggplant and chop up with the rest of the veggies.
Add the evoo to the pan, add the garlic , onion a little fresh thyme or oregano if you have it, and saute a little being careful not to brown the garlic.
Add the eggplant, let cook longer than the rest of the veggies. Maybe five minutes on high, starting with a little oil adding more if you need it or adding any broth such as veggie broth, or water and a hit of the balsamic to deglaze. Can also add some white wine.
When this is basically cooked add the rest of the veggies and stir in some parlsey and more chopped basil , salt and pepper. Cook a few minutes, taste till its good and not overcooked.
Fill the eggplant ‘boats’ with veggies mixture. For vegans leave out cheese and just drizzle a little more balsamic before roasting. Turn over to 375 and preheat.
For the non vegans…I added some parmesano reggiano, and fresh mozzarella to top it.
Then baked about 10 minutes till eggplants were cooked through and cheese melted.