Eggplant Stuffed with Bread Crumbs, Olives, Lemon, and Herbs
This is a great way to prepare eggplant. The presentation is great, too.
“Eggplant makes a good main course, especially during the summer when it is so plentiful and inexpensive. Many recipes start by removing the flesh and then combining it with flavorful ingredients. Here, the eggplant is slashed and a well-seasoned bread-crumb mixture is stuffed into it. The remaining stuffing is patted over the surface - altogether much easier than other versions.”
- 2 large eggplants (about 2 pounds)
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup plain bread crumbs
- 4 medium garlic cloves, minced
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest and 3 tablespoons juice from 1 large lemon
- 1/4 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
- 2 teaspoons of minced fresh thyme or oregano leaves
- 20 large green olives, pitted and minced
- 2 teaspoons minced drained and rinsed capers
- 2 - 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Trim the green tops from the eggplants. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Use a small sharp knife to make deep slashes across the flesh of each half, starting about 1/2 inch in from 1 side and ending about 1/2 inch from the other side. Make the slashes fairly deep but do not puncture the skin. Make another slash down the center from the stem end almost to the base. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- Combine the bread crumbs, garlic, lemon zest and juice, parsley, thyme or oregano, olives and capers in a small bowl. Add as much of the oil as needed to work the mixture into a wet paste with your hands.
- Use your fingers to open the slashes in the eggplants and fill them with the stuffing. Pat the remaining stuffing over the eggplants to cover them completely. Place the stuffed eggplants on a large baking sheet.
- Bake until the eggplants are tender and the bread-crumb mixture is golden brown, about 45 minutes. Serve hot or warm.
This dish calls for a tomato salad, such as marinated tomato and red onion salad. Together, these two dishes make a light but satisfying meal.