All the countries that hug the shores of the great Mediterranean Sea contribute to the great flavors that make up the Mediterranean cuisine. These include Greece, Israel, Turkey, Syria, Spain and Morocco but there are more. Look at a map and you’ll see that Lebanon, France and Italy have contributions to make as well.
We know that healthy eating means we choose foods that are high in fiber and antioxidants from vegetables, legumes and nuts. Well this week’s recipe, straight from the Mediterranean, has a fair amount of that in these Stuffed Eggplants. This is a versatile dish when it comes to your stuffing. You can adjust it to your taste but you will find yourself preparing it often I’m sure.
It’s the spices and herbs that distinguish Mediterranean/Middle Eastern foods from all others. Many are probably on your shelf already but I encourage you to add others.
Stuffed Eggplants are one of my main go-to dishes when our company includes one or more who are vegetarian. Quite popular in its own right, you don’t fix this dish for the vegetarians only! This recipe is great either hot or at room temperature and it’s nice to have a tasty, satisfying dish that is also a healthy choice.
1 large eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise and lightly salted
4 tbsp water
3 tbsp olive oil
1/3 cup red bell pepper, diced
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cumin
1/3 cup chopped raisins, or any dried fruit such as apricots or dates
1/3 cup green olives, halved
1/3 cup cilantro, minced
1 cup cooked quinoa
1 tsp grated fresh lemon peel
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Preheat Grillet to 350º F. Place the eggplant halves cut side up in 4 tbsp water and close lid. Steam for 5- 6 minutes, just until tender, adding more water as needed.
Carefully remove from pan and drain on paper towel. With a spoon, scoop out the flesh of the eggplant, leaving about 1/4” around the edges so as to keep its shape. Set the halves aside.
Add the 3 tbsp of olive oil to the 325º F Grillet. Cut the eggplant flesh into cubes and saute it with the bell pepper, cinnamon, cumin, raisins and olives for eight minutes, stirring often. Add the cilantro, quinoa, lemon peel and lemon juice and cook until heated through.
Fill the mixture back into the eggplant halves evenly and serve.
Over to You
What’s your version of stuffed eggplants? Share and inspire us!