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Baked Eggplant (Aubergine) with Tomato and Mozzarella


I was perusing Jen’s Essential Mediterranean Cookbook (newest edition here) looking for inspiration for a few meals for the week, and came across this hearty side dish. We both love eggplant and had leftover mozzarella cheese, so this was a done deal. I followed the recipe pretty closely, except substituted dried herbs for fresh parsley and oregano.

I served this with another Mediterranean recipe from the same cookbook: Fish Cooked in Paper.

Baked Aubergine with Tomato and Mozzarella

Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 large slender eggplants, cut in half lengthways, leaving stems attached
  • 5 T olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped (I used 1 onion and 2 shallots to mix it up)
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 400g (130 oz) can good quality chopped tomatoes
  • 1 T tomato paste (tomato puree)
  • 3 T chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 T chopped fresh oregano
  • 125g (4 oz) mozzarella, grated

Directions:

Preheat the oven to moderate 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Score eggplant flesh by cutting a criss cross pattern with a sharp knife, being careful to not cut through the skin. Make the criss crosses close together, that will help later on when you have to scoop the insides out.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a large frying pan, add 3 eggplants and cook for 2-3 minutes or until flesh is soft. (I actually cooked for longer, which made the flesh easier to scoop out later). Remove and repeat with another 2 tablespoons of oil and the remaining eggplants.

Cool slightly and scoop out the flesh, leaving a 2mm (1/8 inch) border. Finely chop the flesh and reserve the shells.

In the same pan, heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil and cook the onion over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds, then add the tomato, tomato paste, herbs, and eggplant fresh, and cook, stirring occasionally, over low heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the sauce in the pan is thick and pulpy. Season well.

Arrange the eggplant shells in a lightly greased baking dish and spoon in the tomato filling. Sprinkle with mozzarella and bake for 5-10 minutes, or until the cheese has melted.

Enjoy!

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