Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Stuffed Eggplants

I think this is our fourth time since April getting eggplants now. One of my favorite new found uses for eggplants is to make a dip from it, courtesy of Rice Kernel. I've never actually had the right weights for the vegetables, so I just tried to keep the proportions in check and winged it from there. It's a very forgiving recipe. I love it plain or as a dip with pita chips or Trader Joe's Rice and Bean Chips with Adzuki Beans. I have yet to try it with eggs. 

I used the previous mini eggplants for the confit, and with this week's larger eggplants, I decided to stuff them. I hollowed out the insides and cooked the inside pieces with some broken up Italian sausage. I had some leftover cooked quinoa so I mixed it in with the eggplant and sausage mixture. 

Prior to our trip to California, I had several fresh tomatoes that I didn't want to waste. I didn't have the supplies or time to can them, so I quickly peeled them and froze them whole. I thawed them a few days ago in anticipation of using them up quickly. I used these tomatoes on the bottom of my Dutch oven, and put the stuffed eggplant halves on top, covered them, and cooked for an hour. For the last few minutes, I topped them with the confit that was thinned with my frozen tomatoes and some shredded Pecorino. I garnished the eggplant halves with freshly chopped basil. I wasn't sure how these would turn out, but we were both pleased. The Italian sausage provided a lot of flavor; the eggplant was tender and meaty in texture; the quinoa provided a nice filler, and the tomatoes and confit really pulled everything together. This dish incorporated eggplants three ways with the shell, confit, and sauteed pieces.

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