- They are also known as eggplants (at least they are here in the western U.S).
- They are the feature ingredient of Eggplant Parmigiana, which I don't think I'd ever had.
- Michael Franks sang a song about a woman who cooks eggplants. I bought his album The Art of Tea before I married Dr. van der Stevejinck.
Here's my version:
Stuffed Eggplant Parmigiana
2 smallish eggplants
1 lb. bulk Italian sausage
1/2 cup diced onion
2 cloves of minced garlic
1 can of diced tomatoes (15 oz.)
1 small can tomato paste
2 tablespoons minced parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt (optional)
1/2 teaspoon crushed oregano
a couple of leaves of fresh basil, chopped
around 1 cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
around 1/2 a cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Italian style breadcrumbs
- Heat oven to 350'.
- Brown sausage, onion and garlic in saucepan, drain thoroughly. While sausage mixture is browning, cut the two eggplants in half and scoop out most of the pulp (I left about 1/2 an inch), dice.
- Combine in saucepan: sausage mixture, tomatoes, tomato paste, parsley, oregano, salt. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes.
- Add diced eggplant and fresh basil, cover and simmer for another 15 minutes.
- Place eggplant 'shells' in a baking pan (I used a 9x13). Fill shells half full with sausage/tomato mixture, sprinkle with mozzarella. Heap remaining mixture on top and sprinkle with more mozzarella, Parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs.
- Bake, uncovered for about 30 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
Verdict: Dr. van der Stevejinck loved it. He had two servings for dinner and took a third serving for his lunch today. I liked it okay...but found the tomato sauce a little overpowering (Jamie Oliver suggests fresh in-season tomatoes...that sounds more to my liking). Fifteen year-old - wouldn't even try - way too much 'produce section' for him.