Make the most of eggplants while they are still in season and
inexpensive. In the height of summer I find filled or stuffed eggplant a bit heavy but now as the days are getting cooler they make a warming and satisfying meal.
For this recipe, eggplant flesh is mixed with mushrooms, spinach and cheese in a white sauce, then put into eggplant shells, topped with breadcrumbs and cheese and baked to make a gorgeous creamy dish that will be enjoyed by both non-meat eaters and meat eaters alike.
Eggplant Filled with Mushrooms and Spinach
Any excess filling is delicious served on toast or tossed through pasta. For a complete meal serve with a salad of tossed mixed leaves.
1 bunch (400-500g) spinach, stems removed leaves, chopped
2 medium (about 400-500g each) eggplants
500g mushrooms, diced
1 tsp dried rubbed sage
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 free-range egg, lightly whisked
2 cups thick white sauce
¾ cup grated Parmesan
salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tbsp melted butter
1 Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a baking dish lightly with olive oil.
2 Steam or microwave spinach until wilted. Drain and squeeze to remove excess liquid. Place in a large bowl.
3 Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Using a paring knife
carefully remove flesh from each half leaving a 3mm thick shell. Set shells aside. Dice flesh, place in a colander and sprinkle with salt.
4 Heat 2 tbsp oil in frying pan over a medium heat then add mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes or until mushrooms release their juices. Add sage and garlic and continue cooking until juices evaporate. Add mushroom mixture to bowl with spinach.
5 Rinse eggplant and pat dry. Heat an additional 2 tbsp oil in the frying pan over a medium heat. Add eggplant to pan and cook, stirring, for 10 minutes or until eggplant browns and softens. Add to bowl with mushrooms. Mix to combine. Let cool slightly then add egg and mix to combine.
6 Add white sauce and ½ cup Parmesan to vegetable mixture and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
7 Place breadcrumbs, parsley and melted butter in a small bowl and mix to combine.
8 Divide vegetable mixture between eggplant shells and place in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture over filled eggplants, then sprinkle with remaining Parmesan and bake for 30 minutes or until tops are golden and vegetable mixture is bubbling. Set aside to stand for at least 5 minutes before serving.
Happy cooking and eating.
Recipe by Rachel Blackmore
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Other eggplant dishes you might like to try: