Friday, 13 April 2012

Vegetarian Stuffed Aubergines

Dear aubergine/eggplant haters,

Please don't stop reading.  If there is a possibility to convert you into a person with normal taste buds, this recipe may be a start.

This recipe for me represents the classic Mediterranean flavors -- aubergines, tomatoes, basil, olives and capers altogether as a classic combination reminding people of the laid-back sunny days on the beach with a glass of wine (as I write this, it is hailing outside here in St Andrews, Scotland).

Aubergines are my favorite vegetable.  The creamy texture and the earthy taste, it makes some of the best veggie burger patties.  Before serving this to a bunch of people, at least two people have told me that they disliked aubergines -- but they enjoyed these.

Before I continue talking about these sensational aubergines, I need to thank my friend Victoria Albrecht for these stunning photos.  I should also thank Sarah Budasz for taking most of my other food photos.  I was asked why I started a food blog.  Honestly, I had wanted to start a food blog since the beginning of university (i.e. end of 2010), as I enjoy cooking and eating and writing about food.  But I've never been good at photography, and that was my main reason for delaying this for so long. Fortunately, I make the right friends and so I can utilize/exploit their abilities for this blog :)
Anyway, back to the gorgeous stuffed aubergines.  This is a really simple stuffing, it's very Mediterranean and very delicious.  Again, adjust it to your liking -- add anchovies, remove olives, add different cheeses.
Serves:  4  
4 aubergines
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
3 tbsp capers
½ cup olives, roughly chopped
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped,
½ cup grated parmesan
½ cup chopped mozzarella
1 egg
Preheat oven to 200C. 

Remove stems and cut the aubergines in half.  Place them in a large pot of water and bring to the boil.  Simmer for about 20 minutes.  Remove when flesh is soft, drain and leave to cool.

With a small spoon, carefully remove all the flesh from each half of the aubergine, leaving the skin intact. Place the pulp in a colander to drain off excess water.  To the aubergines pulp, add all the other ingredients except for the tomato sauce and season.  Fill the aubergine skins with the mixture, place on baking tray and top with tomato sauce.  Bake for 20 minutes.  In the last 5 minutes, sprinkle on some more parmesan and place it on the top shelf of the oven.  

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