One of the best things about getting the CSA is that you get to be creative with the veggies you get. Last week, I got three small eggplants and I had no idea what to do with them. One week, when I only got one, I made a Chinese dish, 地三鲜, which is delicious, but I didn’t feel like making a whole Chinese meal again. So I did some Internet searching, and came across a recipe for quinoa stuffed eggplant. SOLD.Of course, I had to do some tweaking of the recipe, because that’s what I do. And I got this delicious dish!
Huge shout out goes to Simply Quinoa for the inspiration for the recipe. I made minor tweaks to mine, but I’m sure that the version she made is equally delicious (and hers is vegan!)
Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant
- Eggplant – I actually used three small ones, and had some left over filling (which is delicious on its own anyway)
- Olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced (optional)
- 1 shallot, chopped finely (optional)
- 8 oz (1/2 lb) ground beef – if you wanted this to be truly Mediterranean, I would recommend ground lamb! But my budget cannot afford lamb. Following the original, use 1 cup chopped button mushrooms for the vegan version.
- 5-6 whole plum tomatoes, cut into bite size pieces
- 1 Tbsp tomato juice (from the can)
- 1/2 cup cooked quinoa
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- 1 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
- 1 Tbsp tahini
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- Water, as needed to thin the sauce
Because of my dietary restrictions, I removed the onion/shallot and garlic from the recipe, hence the (optional) listed above. The garlic would definitely add a even better Mediterranean flare to this dish, so add it if you can!
- Preheat the oven to 425ºF. Cut the eggplant(s) in half lengthwise. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 20 minutes. Once finished, scoop out some of the insides to be added to the filling.
- While the eggplant is roasting, heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and garlic (if using) and cook until fragrant (about 1-2 minutes) then add ground beef/lamb. Once beef is brown, add tomatoes, juice, quinoa and spices and cook until liquid has mostly evaporated.
- Stir in scooped-out eggplant into filling, and fill eggplant halves. Reduce heat on over to 350ºF and bake for another 10 minutes.
- When ready to serve, whisk together tahini, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Add water to thin sauce – when you add the lemon juice to the tahini, it will clump together. Adding the water will thin the sauce back out to a drizzle-able consistency. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and enjoy!
This takes like, 30-35 minutes max, and it’s absolutely delicious! Highly recommend trying it!
Tell me though, as I have a couple more eggplant – what’s your favorite eggplant recipe?! I need to eat the ones I have ASAP, they are ready to eat!