Garden Eggplants

Recipe.TV Test Kitchen

Serves: 2-4

Author: Chef Keda Black

Chef’s Note:
These stuffed eggplants are vegetarian and vegan! They get their flavor from seasonal garden veggies and herbs combined with preserved lemon – and some garlic. I also added a touch of chili to give them a nice kick. They are quick and easy to make. They are quite light so if you want to turn them into a nice lunch, serve them with something like a nice bean salad or pilau rice for instance.

• 2 large eggplants
• 1 piece preserved lemon (homemade or store-bought)
• 1 fresh (or preserved) chili
• 3-4 scallions
• 4-5 cloves garlic
• ¼ cup olive oil
• 1 bunch basil
• 2 small zucchinis
• 4 tbsp breadcrumbs (optional)
• coriander and parsley flowers (optional)
• salt

1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.

2. Wash the vegetables. Cut the eggplant in two, lengthways. Score the flesh in a crisscross pattern, without piercing the skin. Brush with about half the oil.

3. Peel and finely slice the garlic. Chop the preserved lemon. Slip slices of garlic and pieces of lemon inside the incisions in the eggplant. You won’t use all the garlic or lemon.

4. Bake for about 35 minutes. Meanwhile, dice the zucchini into small pieces. Chop onions (including the green parts) and half the basil. Keep a little piece of onion and 1 or 2 green stems for later. Chop the chili.

5. Cook the zucchini and onions for about 5 minutes in a pan with a little oil. Add chopped basil, remaining lemon and garlic. Salt to taste (it might not need much because the lemons are already quite salty).

6. When the eggplants are golden on top and the flesh is tender, take them out of the oven. Scoop out the flesh with a spoon, taking care not to break the skins. Mix the flesh with the zucchini mixture. Spoon this into the eggplant shells. At this stage, you can sprinkle the top with some breadcrumbs.

7. Bake for an extra 15 minutes. Meanwhile, blend the remaining basil and green stems in a food processor with some oil.

8. When the eggplants are ready, pour a little of your basil green sauce on top, add some thinly sliced onion and the coriander and parsley flowers and serve.