Succulent eggplants, a delicious mushroom and almond filling, a rich tomato and herb sauce: an impressive combination.
Vegan. Hands-on time: 20 mins. Total time: 55 mins.
Contributed by (March 2011).
Photo © Veg World
Eggplant (also known as aubergine) is an essential ingredient in Mediterranean cuisine. This classic dish is one of the best ways I know of serving this versatile vegetable. It tastes superb, and it's a lot easier to make than it looks.
Served with rice or potatoes, the quantities given here will produce a main course dish for four.
- 2 large eggplants (aubergine)
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 medium onions, peeled and diced
- 2 garlic cloves, minced or crushed
- 6 - 8 mushrooms, cleaned and diced
- 2/3 cup (2 oz, 50 g) ground almonds
- A 14-oz (400 g) can of tomatoes
- ½ tsp. of mixed dried herbs, or 1 tsp. fresh herbs (basil goes especially well in this dish)
- ½ tbsp. pine kernels (optional)
- salt and pepper
Oven: Pre-heat to 350F (175C)
Start by bringing a large pan of water to the boil. Wash the eggplants, but don't peel them. Remove the stems, and prick them in several places with a fork. Place them in the boiling water, and simmer for about ten minutes.
Remove the eggplants from the water. Dry with a kitchen towel, and leave to cool.
Heat the olive oil in a pan. Add the onions, and sauté for a few minutes until they start to soften. Add the garlic and mushrooms. Continue to cook for a few more minutes.
To make the filling, put about three quarters of the onion and mushroom mixture into a bowl. Add the ground almonds and a little salt and pepper.
Slice each of the eggplants in two lengthways. Scoop out the soft flesh, taking care to leave the shells intact. Chop the flesh and add it to the filling. Mix well.
Next, make the sauce. Add the tomatoes and herbs to the remaining onion and mushrooms, and cook for about ten minutes, stirring occasionally.
Finally, place the four eggplant shells in a shallow oven dish. Place a quarter of the filling in each of the shells. Pour the sauce over the top. Optionally sprinkle on the pine kernels. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cover the dish with foil, and bake for about half an hour. Remove the foil about ten minutes before the end of the cooking time.
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Note on quantities and temperatures:
Quantities are given in American (cups), imperial (oz, fl oz) and metric (g, ml) units. Do not mix the units - use one or other system throughout the recipe.
See also How much does a cup weigh?
oz = ounces, fl oz = fluid ounces, g = grams, ml = milliliters, tsp = teaspoons, tbsp = tablespoons.
Oven temperatures are given in degrees F (Fahrenheit) and C (Celsius).
For fan-assisted ovens, reduce the temperature by 20F or 10C.