Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stuffed Eggplant Provencal

Seasonal Recipe of the Week
What's more fun that stuffing vegetables with other vegetables? Especially when they are all farmer’s market fresh! Here is a French recipe form the Sundays at Moosewood Cookbook for a great vegetarian entrée.

3 medium eggplants
1/4 cup olive oil

Stuffing Ingredients
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups chopped onions
2 cloves peeled garlic, minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 red pepper diced
1 cup diced zucchini
1/4 pound chopped mushrooms
1/2 cup pine nuts
2 tablespoons currants
1 tablespoon fresh Marjoram
1 tablespoon fresh thyme
Salt and Pepper to taste

Topping Ingredients
1/2 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups fresh bread crumbs or Panko
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Sauce Ingredients
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 cups crème Fraiche

Preheat oven to 500. Slice the eggplants in half length wise and brush with olive oil then sprinkle with salt. Place cut side down on an oiled sheet pan, and bake for 20 minutes or till tender on the inside but firm on the outside (like me!). Remove from oven and let cool. Lower oven to 350.

To make stuffing, in a sauté pan add 1/4 cup olive oil and sauté the onions 10 minutes, add garlic and carrots, and cook 10 minutes more. Now add all the rest of the stuffing ingredients and cook 15 minutes more. Set aside.

To make the topping, add 1/2 cup olive oil to a sauté pan and sauté the garlic with the bread crumbs till the oil is absorbed remove from heat and add the Parmesan cheese.

Now it's time to assemble. Turn the eggplants over and push the flesh to the sides of the shell. Spoon the stuffing into the cavity you just created and mound up filling. Top with the breadcrumb mix. Bake for 30 minutes and top with herbed Crème Fraiche, which you make by stirring the last 4 ingredients together. It sounds complicated but it's really very simple!