from one generation to the next
We have a hard working mate who often has fresh seasonal vegies to share. This morning he dropped by quite early with baby eggplants and silverbeet.
No sooner had he left after downing a cup of coffee than I began to think about stuffed eggplant for dinner. The eggplants were the perfect size to bake whole. Making use of the super fresh bunch of silver beet and only using ingredients I had to hand, the filling was a cross pollination of recipes, the spiced chard filling for filo pastries and the stuffing I used in the Romano peppers a few weeks ago. My supply of fresh tomatoes was depleted, but sweet red peppers combined with a can of organic chopped tomatoes in juice made a delicious sauce.
The flesh removed from the eggplants I turned into an unconventional baba ghanouj.
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 small red capsicums (bell peppers)
1/2 cup eggplant (aubergine) flesh roughly chopped
1x400g can chopped tomatoes in juice
1 cup vegetable stock
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Cut the cheeks off the capsicum, peel with a vegetable peeler then cut into large dice.
Heat the oil in a shallow pan then add the peppers and eggplant flesh. Cover and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes and stock, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for another 5 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.
1/3 cup basmati rice
1 cup blanched silverbeet (chard) finely chopped
2 Italian sausages, skins removed
2 tablespoons pine nuts
2 tablespoons currants
1/2 cup fresh dill
3 spring onions, green tops only
Sea salt and pepper
Boil the rice in salted water for 5 minutes then drain and refresh.
In a large bowl combine the rice, silverbeet,crumbled sausage meat, pine nuts, currants, finely chopped dill and sliced green spring onion.
The amount of seasoning needed will depend on the sausages.
Use your hands to knead the stuffing to thoroughly combine.
Cut the stem off the eggplant then cut across the bottom to make a stable base. The eggplant needs to stand up. Use an apple corer to ream out the centre of the eggplant leaving a layer of flesh about 1 cm thick. After adding 1/2 cup of the chopped eggplant flesh to the sauce, make quick baba ghanouj with the remainder. Recipe below
Using your fingers, poke the stuffing into the eggplants from the bottom up, packing it in quite firmly.
Stand the stuffed eggplants side by side in a deep casserole dish, then pour over the sauce. It should come 3/4 of the way up the eggplant.
Bake 180C 1 hour
Serves 4 with salad.
Quick Baba Ghanouj
Roughly chop the eggplant debris. In a small saucepan put the eggplant flesh with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and 1/2 cup water. Bring the pot to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the eggplant has collapsed. Remove the lid and increase the heat and simmer until all the water has evaporated. Blitz a garlic clove in your food processor, add the eggplant and process to a cream. Add a large heaped tablespoon of thick natural yoghurt and 1/2 cup of roughly chopped fresh dill. Process briefly until just combined. Season to taste with sea salt and black pepper.>