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Easy Stuffed Eggplant

by Jane Wangersky | November 6th, 2014 | Recipes, Simple Solutions
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eggplantEggplant is one of those foods, like fish, that people think they don’t like, but it’s really got a lot going for it — a mild taste that goes with countless other foods, a shape and texture that can be transformed into almost anything you want, a Mediterranean background, plenty of fiber, relatively short cooking time — and, contrary to popular belief, you don’t really have to salt it or squeeze out the juices to make it palatable. With all this in mind, I hit on eggplant when I was looking for some fresh ingredient to bring new life to leftovers the other night.

Shirley Conran famously said life was too short to stuff a mushroom — even if you don’t agree, you know there’s a truth at the heart of that. Stuffed food always looks and tastes as if it took at least a little extra time and work, whether it’s a Thanksgiving turkey or a quick-cooking vegetable filled with odds and ends you had in your fridge, and that makes it at least a bit special.

Tomato sauce with or without meat works equally well in this. If you do use meat sauce, it becomes a light meal. If not, it’s a great side dish. Either way, your leftover sauce and rice are gone.

 

Easy Stuffed Eggplant
A special way to use leftover rice and tomato sauce


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Ingredients
  1. 1 medium eggplant
  2. 1 cup tomato sauce (chunky is good, with or without meat)
  3. 1 cup cooked rice
  4. Parmesan cheese for sprinkling
Instructions
  1. Cut the leaf end off the eggplant, then cut what’s left in half the long way.
  2. If necessary, cut a small piece off the outside to make it lie flat in the dish.
  3. Hollow out the round end of each half, leaving about a ¼ inch shell. (You can do this by drawing a shallow circle with a knife, then digging out the rest. A grapefruit spoon can be useful.)
  4. Save the eggplant flesh for something else; you could cook it and use it as part of the stuffing, but we’re making this extra quick.
  5. Put the hollowed out halves in a lightly greased ovenproof dish with enough water to just cover the dish bottom.
  6. Heat the sauce and rice together till bubbly.
  7. Spoon into eggplant halves.
  8. Sprinkle with Parmesan.
  9. Bake at 375℉ for about half an hour.
Notes
  1. If you’d like to add more fresh vegetables, like onions, garlic, celery, or peppers, just chop them up and cook in a little oil till they soften, then add the rice and sauce and heat.
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