Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Stuffed Eggplant (Gluten-Free)

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One of my friends moved all the way to Seattle, so luckily I was her recipient of perishable goods while she was packing up her home and office. She belonged to a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) where she received weekly baskets of produce from a local farmer. Since she was unable to use all the produce she received in her last basket before she left, she graciously gave me a big batch of assorted vegetables since she knows I love to cook. When she told me an eggplant was included, I immediately started imagining all the things I could make with it.
This is a perfect weeknight dinner to share with someone. You get your share of meat, vegetables and cheese all wrapped up into one delicious dish. And if you each take a half, it's more than filling. I really loved this recipe and enjoyed the mix of flavors. The sausage adds some kick, the seasonings are perfect compliments to the vegetables, while the ooey gooey cheese melts and pulls the dish together. Enjoy!

Printable Recipe

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 3 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 2 links mild Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 small onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried parsley
  • 1/2 tbsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • 1/2 cup part-skim Ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced-fat Mozzarella cheese, shredded, divided
  • 1/2 cup tomato, seeded and diced
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Cut the eggplant in half and scoop out the center, leaving enough meat inside the skin so that it holds its shape when baked. Chop 1 cup of the scooped out part and set aside. Evenly slice a very small strip of the skin (about 2 inches long) off the bottom of each eggplant half so the eggplant lays flat. 

Meanwhile, in a medium saute pan heat 1 tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Season the beef with salt and pepper. Add the seasoned ground beef and the sausage to the pan and saute until browned. Drain.

In the same pan over medium heat, add the remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil and saute the onions, peppers, reserved 1 cup chopped eggplant and garlic until vegetables are tender. 

In a large bowl mix together the cooked vegetables, cooked meat, parsley, basil, Parmesan, Ricotta, 1 cup Mozzarella and the tomatoes.

Evenly fill the scooped-out eggplant halves with the meat mixture. Sprinkle evenly with remaining 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese. 

Place on prepared baking sheet and cook for 30 minutes. Serve immediately.

Source: SK Original

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