We’re fond of stuffed vegetables here on Green Prophet. They’re satisfying to the appetite and pleasant to look at. Like our butternut squash stuffed with quinoa, this stuffed eggplant recipe is an elegant twist on a traditional dish.
Among the myriad Middle Eastern eggplant recipes are those where the vegetable is stuffed and baked. Eggplant stuffed with bulgur. Eggplant stuffed with bulgur and fruit? Unusual, but very good. The sharpness of eggplant flesh and shallot combines well with sweet dried and fresh fruit, everything held together by the grainy bulgur in an eggplant shell. Just delicious. A powerhouse of good-for-you superfoods. And it’s vegetarian.
Eggplant Stuffed with Bulgur and Fruit.
1 large eggplant
1/2 cup medium-grade bulgur
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup boiling water
1/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans
1/4 cup raisins or currants
1 celery stalk
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
1/2 red apple
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon cumin
Place the bulgur in a heatproof bowl with the salt and mix. Pour the boiling water over it and cover the bowl. Leave it alone for 1/2 hour.
Meantime, toast the sunflower seeds in a medium oven for 5 minutes. Chop the walnuts coarsely and the celery and apple finely (don’t peel the apple). Chop the shallot.
Pour some of the lemon juice over the apples to prevent browning. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl, cover, and set aside.
Remove the green cap from the eggplant. Slice the eggplant in half horizontally. Cut away the pulp, leaving a thin shell inside. Chop the pulp finely and add it to the fruit bowl. Mix well.
Brush the insides of the eggplant halves with olive oil. Sprinkle generously with salt and grind some pepper over all.
Fluff the cooked bulgur up with a fork. Add it to the fruit/eggplant bowl and mix well. Drizzle more olive oil into it, mix, and taste for seasoning. Add more salt, pepper, honey, cumin or cinnamon to taste.
Stuff the eggplants, tamping the bulgur mixture down with your hands to keep it firm. Drizzle yet another little olive oil over all.
Tuck a strip of tin foil tightly around each half. Bake at 350° F – 180° C for 1 to 1-1/2 hour, depending on size of eggplant. When the meat on the shells and the chopped eggplant in the stuffing is tender and an appetizing odor of “cooked” arises, it’s done.
Remove the tin foil and bake another 10 minutes to make the top crisp.
The stuffing tends to crumble when first taken out of the oven. To slice firm portions, allow the dish to cool and then re-heat it. Good at room temperature too.
More unbelievably tasty eggplant recipes from Green Prophet:
Photo of bulgur and fruit-stuffed eggplant by Miriam Kresh.
Miriam also writes a food blog.