Use Fresh Eggplant Recipes
to Bring Color to Your Table
Eggplant recipes have a reputation for being tricky. There is a simple explanation for this. Eggplant is a very temperamental vegetable and should be used within 24 hours of harvesting for best results. That’s one good reason to grow your own. That way, you can pick it when it is perfectly ripe and while the skin is still undamaged. Otherwise, the flesh will be rubbery or leathery.
A vine ripened eggplant is firm and heavy with a shiny skin. Dent the skin gently with your finger (not your fingernail). If the indentation disappears, the eggplant is ready to be picked. Cut the stem with a sharp pair of clippers and handle the vegetable with care until you are ready to cook it. If you dislike eggplant, substitute zucchini for this stuffed vegetable dish.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees – Have a cookie sheet ready
For the filling, chop and sauté in 1 Tbsp olive oil:
1 chili pepper
4 scallions (or 1/4 of a medium sized white onion)
1/3 green bell pepper (or Anaheim pepper for a hotter flavor)
4 baby portabella mushrooms
Allow to cool to room temperature and add:
10 crackers (whole grain or butter crisp), crumbled
1/3 cup feta cheese
1/4 cup smoked ham, diced (optional)
Slice the eggplant in half and use a sharp metal spoon to scoop out the center. Leave a shell that is 1/2″ thick. Immediately stuff the eggplant halves with the filling. The filling will mound up on top, so press it down firmly to keep it from falling out.
Place the stuffed shells on the baking sheet and cook them for 20 minutes. Serve warm with plain yogurt or low fat sour cream and fresh tomato. These garnishes help cool the taste of the chili pepper in this eggplant recipe.
Image courtesy of CC license by Flickr user giffconstable