I only have one regret about this dish – that I didn’t take a picture of the eggplant before I cooked it. The raw version was beautifully stripped with purples and whites, and I had no idea it would turn completely brown while cooking.
I was reminded of Bea Peltre‘s advice to par-cook dishes before photographing them to get the best image, and finish cooking later. I guess that’s how she gets her stuffed vegetables to look so amazing.
But ultimately, mine is only a minor regret, because I think the final product is pretty nice to look at in its own way, and tasty too. I took a shortcut and used a packaged rice mix, as I often do, but the dish could obviously be made with any combination of grains and seasonings.
Here’s my recipe:
- 2 round eggplants
- 2 teaspoons olive oil (plus more for rice mix)
- 1 box Near East roasted pecan and garlic Whole Grain blend
- 2 tablespoons Roquefort (or other blue) cheese, crumbled
Preheat oven to 400. Prepare rice mix according to package directions (it will take 25-30 minutes to cook). Slice the tops off of the eggplants and scoop out most of the flesh (another great use for my seed and stem remover). Set the scooped out flesh aside – more on what to do with that later.
Rub the insides of the eggplant with olive oil and cook on a baking sheet for 15-20 minutes, or until rice is done. Remove eggplant from oven and fill with rice mixture. Return to oven for another 10 minutes. At this point, you can rub a little olive oil on the eggplant tops and cook them alongside the filled eggplants, but this is merely for decoration.
Finally, top eggplants with cheese and cook for another minute or two, until cheese has melted.