Last Saturday Mr TBTAM whipped up a little din-din using recipes from Nick Stellino’s cookbook Mediterranean Flavors. This little gem of a cookbook features flavors and recipes based on the cuisines of Italy, Greece, Turkey, Spain, North Africa and the Middle East. Stellino’s recipes are beautifully written, with clear, easy-to-follow instructions that leave nothing in doubt, making them suitable for even the most novice of cooks. (The recipe that follows is my abbreviated version of Stellino’s instructions.)
Dinner also included Tunisian Chickpea Soup (recipe another day) and green salad with a lemon vinaigrette. Friend Annette supplied dessert, a gorgeous fruit tart from the Food Emporium under the Queensboro Bridge.
Let’s just say that by the time we were all done, the eggplants weren’t the only thing stuffed….
These actually taste very light, and are wonderful as an appetizer, side dish, or if you are vegetarian, a main dish. The only change in this recipe is to use Kosher instead of regular salt, so I increased the quantity a bit.
4 Japanese Eggplant
1 tsp Kosher salt
2 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp grated Parmigiano Reggiano
4 tbsp goat or ricotta cheese
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg, separated
1/4 cup Italian breadcrumbs
2 tbsp oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes
1 head roasted garlic
2/3 cup chicken stock
Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, leaving skins attached. Score flesh with a sharp knife, but don’t cut through the skin. Rub cut surfaces with 1/2 tsp salt. Place eggplant halves cut-side down on paper towels and drain for 15 mins.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush cut surfaces of eggplant with olive oil and place cut side down on 18×13 inch non stick baking pan. Bake for 15 mins. Cool for 15 mins.
Gently scoop the pulp from the eggplant, leaving skins intact for later. Put pulp in food processor, and add 2tbsp Parmesan, goat or ricotta cheese, remaining salt, pepper, egg yolk, bread crumbs, sundried tomatoes and roasted garlic. Pulse till just mixed, about 30 secs.
Whip egg whites till stiff. Fold into the eggplant mixture with a rubber spatula. Fill the reserved eggplant skins with the eggplant mixture, mounding slightly. Place in a 9×13 inch baking dish and pour chicken stock around them. Sprinkle eggplant halves with the remaining Parmesan cheese and bake at 450 degrees Fahrenheit for 30 mins., until golden brown. Cool for 5-10 mins. and serve.
Stellino serves them on a small bed of tomato sauce. We just had them as they were – delicious.