Eggplant is a favorite around The Goddess’s abode. It’s one of those blank canvas-types of foods, like zucchini and white bread. Stuffed eggplant is a one-dish wonder and this one is particularly interesting, with addition of chorizo sausage, mint, currants and feta cheese. I usually make chorizo, but many markets make their own; some use turkey or chicken, instead of pork, so you’ll have options. If you wish to make your own, you can find a decent recipe here at Epicurious. Later, I’ll post the Chorizo Sausage I make, but first, I have to make it and measure the ingredients so you can have an idea of quantities.
This goes together quite easily. I got the idea from the amazing Marcus Samuelsson. Watching him cook is like watching a carefully choreographed kitchen ballet performance. He’s all that and then has a knock-out pair of taste buds to boot! I love the flavors he uses.
When I remove the flesh from an eggplant, I usually cut around the center, leaving a good border of around 1/2-inch. Then I score that center part, in both directions. I find that I can easily pull the flesh out with my fingers, then dice it finely.
I like to use allspice and cumin with the currants in this mixture and lots of garlic. Adding chopped nuts, gives a great little crunch to the finished dish. Pistachios are The Goddess’s nut of choice (I know what you’re thinking!!) If you want to make this meatless, you can add cooked lentils, garbanzos or other beans and maybe some cooked rice, instead of the chorizo. Or just go with eggplant. In the autumn, adding some diced apple is a nice touch.
These go together rather quickly and that’s always a bonus. The Goddess prefers to make her eggplants ahead of time, giving the flavors time to run around and have a great flavor orgy.
Roasted Eggplant Stuffed with Chorizo, Mint and Feta
- 1/2 cup fresh pork chorizo (about 3 links, removed from their casings)
- 2 tablespoons olive oil (this may be unnecessary if the chorizo has fat)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced or thinly sliced, your preference
- 1 large eggplant, cut in half lengthwise
- 2 shallots thinly sliced or chopped
- 1/3 cup finely chopped onion
- 1/2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper
- 2 tablespoons dried currants
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta
- 3-4 teaspoons chopped fresh mint (more for garnish, if you wish)
- 3-4 tablespoon finely chopped toasted pistachios or whole pine nuts
- yogurt (optional)
Preheat oven to 350°F. In a saucepan or skillet, sauté the chorizo and garlic until partially cooked through, about 2-3 minutes. (Add the olive oil, 1-2 teaspoons at a time, if the meat seems too dry).
Meanwhile, scoop out interior flesh of the eggplant, leaving about 1/2-inch border to hold the ingredients when baked. Chop eggplant into small cubes. Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan (with the chorizo still in the pan) and sauté the eggplant cubes with shallots, onions and bell pepper until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the currants, cumin, allspice and season with salt and pepper, then continue cooking over lower heat to allow flavors to meld, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
Add the feta to the sausage mix, along with the chopped mint. Fill eggplant halves that have been lightly coated with olive oil, salt and pepper. Top with the chopped nuts, drizzle with some olive oil and bake in oven, 45 minutes or until the eggplant is just tender. Top with more mint if you would like and serve with a dollop of yogurt, if desired.
NOTE: Feel free to substitute cooked lentils, garbanzos, ground chicken or turkey chorizo for the pork chorizo. You may add a shredded carrot, or cubes of winter squash, if you wish. Omit the spices, if you wish.
Roasted Eggplant Stuffed with Chorizo, Mint and Feta Recipe©Marcia Lahens 2015. All rights reserved.
Let these sit for awhile after they come out of the oven. If you don’t, say “good-bye” to the roof of your mouth, as these holds the heat like crazy! A dollop of plain yogurt on top of each portion and a drizzle of honey or balsamic vinegar, is a nice finishing touch.
This is dinner, with some flatbread that The Goddess made to use up some leftover potato water. She loves to make bread with potato water…the texture is pure heaven. This time she tossed in some cracked pepper and whole cumin seeds, garlic and toasted dried onion, too. Later the bread will be used for sandwiches…yup, we’re getting some things used up before the movers arrive. Yet again, life is good!