We choose the freshest baby eggplants for our Stuffed Eggplant recipe and filled them with a delicious meat filling combining equal parts of lean ground beef, veal, and pork to really enhance the flavour of the filling and the end result was delicious. We served them over a bed of rice and a simple garden salad and some crusty bread slices to make it a complete meal. They taste great as well with a side of spaghetti in marinara sauce; roasted potatoes and grilled veggies. Whichever way you choose to serve them your family will be asking for seconds.
If you're not a fan of pork or want a healthier option simply omit the pork or change up the meat filling altogether and use ground chicken or turkey.
2 pounds of ground meat (equal parts of lean beef, veal, and pork)
4 to 5 cups of finely chopped eggplant
1 medium onion finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic; minced
3/4 to 1 cup of marinara sauce + extra for topping
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 cup fresh finely parsley chopped
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese + extra for topping
1. Choose the freshest baby eggplants free of wrinkles and blemishes; wash them thoroughly removing the stems and cutting them in half.
2. Scoop out the virtually all of the eggplant leaving behind a 1/4 inch of eggplant on the flesh. Prepare two water bowls; one for the shells and one for the pulp. They will brown and darken once exposed to air; you can season the water with salt or lemon.
3. Finely chop the eggplant pulp; leaving in water while preparing the balance of the ingredients.
4. In a large bowl combine meat, onions, garlic, sauce, breadcrumbs, marinara sauce, egg, parsley and parmesan cheese. Squeeze out most of the water out of the eggplant and combine all the ingredients until well incorporated.
5. Pat down the shells of the eggplant and fill with the filling; over filling as you go (the mixture will shrink down while cooking; so you really want to overfill them so they look plump). Place filled shells into a deep casserole dish sprayed with non-stick spray.
6. Top each little treasure with marinara and Parmesan Cheese.
7. Heat oven to 375F.
8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for approximately 45 minutes.
9. Uncover and bake 10 minutes more until golden brown.
10. Serve with choice of rice or pasta, some delicious grilled veggies and a garden salad with bread for a complete meal.
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