In addition to an overwhelming amount of cucumber and zucchini, I’ve been getting a lot of eggplant in my CSA. As much as I love eggplant parm, it’s far too time-consuming for my effort.
So as an alternative, and trying to clean out my some things in my freezer, I defrosted some ground beef and grilled the eggplants- keeping my kitchen much cooler than when the oven is on. This was fairly quick, definitely easy, and easily adaptable with the various herbs, tomato products and cheese on hand. In fact, it was so good, I didn’t even get to eat the leftovers! But with more eggplant in my future, I’m sure I can make it again soon.
Grilled Stuffed Eggplant
Serves 2-4 (depending on sides).
2 large or 4 small eggplants (purple Italian variety, preferred)
1/2 tbsp of olive oil
Finely ground black pepper
1/3 cup of parm plus more for sprinkling
1 lb of bulk sweet Italian sausage or ground beef
1/4 cup of onion, finely diced
1-2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup of tomato pulp or puree
1/4 cup of chopped fresh herbs (parsley, oregano and basil)
1/2 tbsp of red pepper, if desired
1/8 cup of breadcrumbs
1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella or mozzarella slices to top
Slice the eggplants in half. Hollow out the shells with a knife and reserve the insides. Chop the eggplant into little chunks and place in a medium bowl. Drizzle some olive oil in the shell, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with a little parm too.
Saute the ground beef or sausage over medium heat for about 2 minutes. Add in the chopped onions and garlic. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook over medium heat until browned through. Drain if necessary. Add 1/2 cup of tomato pulp, half of the reserved eggplant (the rest can be pureed and served at another time) and the herbs to the sausage mixture. Sprinkle again with salt, pepper and red pepper. Cook for 5 minutes over medium low. Let cool. Then transfer to a bowl and add 1/3 cup of parm and the breadcrumbs. Combine well. Stuff the shells with the mixture.
Sprinkle with more parm. Top with some extra tomato pulp/puree.
Place in a pan, cover with foil and grill (or bake) for 30-40 minutes on 350 degrees or less, until cheese is melted and the eggplant shell is softened. Serve with additional marinara sauce, pasta and/or bread and a simple salad.
To drink: a lovely Italian red of course! Or if it’s a really hot night- some rose will be lovely. (I need to stop drinking it like it’s juice.)