Last week I was on a week-long vacation all the way across the country. It was awesome! And long enough to bring me home feeling refreshed.
What do you like to do right when you return from a whole week of vacation?
Rest? Clean? Unpack?
Well I found out what I like to do (after thoroughly petting my kitty of course) is cook! It’s funny, on the way home my friend asked me “what do you need to do today?” And I answered “Definitely grocery shop… And I’d like to vacuum.” My brain was already in creation mode – what could I make? What would I like to cook? What new dishes have I been dying to make?
So it seems, after a week of experiencing and enjoying great food created by others, I just want to cook! Cooking is a true sign of feeling at home for me.
So what did I create Sunday night!? Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant. It is so phenomenal that I couldn’t keep the recipe to myself – so here you go:
Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant
This dish is decadent! The eggplant is creamy and naturally subtle in sweetness while the stuffing is full of flavor – the briny olive, the italian seasonings, and the variety of textures from the meaty mushrooms to smooth beans. It is easy to make, but you need to allot the time it takes to bake. Despite the ease of this dish, it looks very impressive! You will find that Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant is remarkable enough in taste and presentation to serve at your next dinner party. If you’re a veggie lover like me, this will be an instant favorite!
- 2 large eggplants; top cut off and halved lengthwise
- 1 large clove of garlic; finely diced
- 1 sweet onion; diced small
- 1 red pepper; diced small
- 1 cup of white button mushrooms; diced small
- 1/2 cup green olives; pitted and diced (other varieties of olives would work just as well)
- 1/2 cup kidney beans or great northern beans; coarsely diced / smashed
- 1/2 cup chopped frozen spinach, thawed
- 1 14oz can diced italian tomatoes
- olive oil spray
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking tray with oil.
- Spray all exposed eggplant flesh with oil and sprinkle with salt. Place cut side down on baking tray and bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium high heat and spray with oil. Add the onion and garlic and cook stirring occasionally for 2 minutes. Add red pepper and mushrooms and cook stirring occasionally until beginning to soften. Add tomatoes with juices, olives, and beans and cook mixture until all vegetables are tender.
- When eggplant has baked for 15 minutes, remove from the oven. Carefully turn the cut side up and beginning and ending a half-inch from each end, make a slit lengthwise down the center, being sure to not cut through the skin. Using two spoons, scoop out a small well in the eggplant and add scooped out flesh to the skillet. Stir to incorporate.
- Fill each eggplant half with generous amounts of skillet mixture and bake stuffed eggplant for another 20-30 minutes. Let cool for 5-10 minutes until cool enough to eat. Serve hot and enjoy!