Baked Stuffed Eggplant

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that can be very tricky.  It’s either really boring or really delicious.  Sometimes it can be slimy and sometimes it can be bitter.  I think it’s all in how you use it.  The other day I bought an eggplant with the intention of making eggplant parmesan.  But that can be labor intensive to prepare and I just wasn’t finding the time.  Finally, I thought to myself, what could I do with this eggplant that would make it delicious and wouldn’t be the normal slice and grill since I’m usually the only one that eats it when I make it like that.  So I decided to slice it in half, hollow it out, and use the inside to create a delicious stuffing.  Stuffed eggplant.  The thing with stuffing anything is that you can add anything you feel like to the stuffing.  And it will completely change the taste.

Anyways, when I made this, I was on a big twice-baked-stuffed-anything kick.  So I decided to experiment a little with eggplant.  And it was delicious!  I didn’t twice bake it because I felt like it would make it hard to hollow out the center and stuff, so it took a little longer in the oven to make sure the eggplant was cooked through.

Start by scooping out the center of an eggplant that has been sliced in half.  Dice the eggplant center into small pieces and set aside.

Then saute onions and garlic in some olive oil.

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Add turkey sausage and brown.

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Add eggplant from the hollowed out eggplant shells, diced tomato, and pepper.  Cook for about 5-7 minutes until the eggplant is cooked.

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Place turkey sausage mixture in a bowl and let cool slightly.  Add parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese, egg, bread crumbs, and fresh basil.

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Mix to combine.

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Scoop back into the eggplant shells.

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Top with cheddar cheese.

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Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes – until the eggplant shell is cooked-through and the cheese on top is melted and bubbly.

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Slice and serve!

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Recipe:

1 large eggplant, cut in half
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 lb turkey sausage, casings removed
1 tomato, diced
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
1 egg
1/3 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup fresh basil
1/2 cup shredded cheese (any kind)

Scoop out the center of the eggplant.  Dice small and set aside.  Meanwhile, in a frying pan, saute onion and garlic in olive oil.  Add turkey sausage and brown/cook through.  Add diced eggplant, tomato, and pepper and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes until the eggplant has been cooked.  Remove from heat and let cool slightly.  In a medium bowl, add turkey sausage/eggplant mixture, ricotta cheese, egg, parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and basil and mix to combine.  Spoon filling back into eggplant shell and top with shredded cheese.  Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes – or until the eggplant shell has been cooked through.  Slice and serve!

Enjoy!
Caroline