On my weekend grocery trip, I made sure to buy a firm and plump eggplant to make these stuffed shells of goodness. Grandma’s tip: run your finger over the eggplant and look closely – there shouldn’t be any tiny holes on it or you’ll have company when you cut it open.
This is one heck of a recipe that’s awfully flavourful and indescribably comforting. You will find yourself take one quick bite after another and will find it hard to share. I promise. What I also like about the recipe is that is excellent to make ahead of time and then reheat just before you want to eat it. This is one comfort food you should not deprive yourself of.
Adapted from: Beatrice Peltre
Yield: 2 servings
2 medium or 1 large eggplant
Olive oil (for sprinkling)
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp ground coriander
½ tsp ground cumin
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
2 medium ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 cup paneer or whole milk ricotta (I used crumbled paneer)
1/3 cup finely grated parmesan
1 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro
2 sausages or 2 slices ham, finely diced, or omit this if you’re vegetarian (I used chicken sausages)
1 egg, beaten
Extra fresh cilantro, chopped (for sprinkling)
- Set the oven at 400°F/200°C.
- Halve the eggplant lengthwise. Place them in the baking dish, cut sides up. Drizzle generously with olive oil and season to taste. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender.
- Scoop out the eggplant flesh with a spoon and mash it gently with a fork.
- In a skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the coriander, cumin and chopped garlic to it. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant.
- Add the tomatoes, bay leaf, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring often, for 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the eggplant flesh. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until the mixture is pulpy and well flavored. Discard the bay leaf.
- Lower the oven temperature to 375°F/190C.
- Stir the paneer/ricotta, parmesan, cilantro, sausages/ham, salt, and pepper into the eggplant mixture. Once the mixture is little cool, stir in the beaten egg. Fill the eggplant shells back with the stuffing. Reserve some of the parmesan for later.
- Return the shells to the baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil. Bake the eggplant for 30-40 minutes or until the shells are tender when pierced with a skewer. During the last 10 minutes of baking, sprinkle the reserved parmesan on top of the eggplant for a golden, cheesy finish!
- Plate it. Eat it.
Again, go make this – your family will love you more. I’m talking from experience.