Thursday, July 2, 2009

Shrimp Stuffed Eggplant

OK, so I forgot to take a photo of it all plated pretty.  I did manage to get one before we went back for seconds. 

I’ve been gardening lately.  Let me tell you a secret.  When you grow a vegetable from a seed you have a different relationship with your food. Babying it as a seedling, holding your breath as you transplant hoping you won’t damage the roots, watching out for pests, watering and weeding. Well, let’s just say you get a little attached.  And so when it finally blooms and sets fruit you get a little excited. Then you still must continue to water and weed and harvest in temperatures around 105 gazillion degrees… when you do have a harvest you DO NOT waste. A carrot I bought at Krogers may shrivel up and mummify in my fridge but a carrot from my garden WILL be eaten. 

This recipe was a very successful attempt at finding a way to like eggplant other than fried.  Why did I grow eggplant if I don’t particularly like it except fried?  Well, because I do like them fried.  The problem was I bought a “gourmet mix”  which had four different types of eggplant seeds all mixed together. Of course I wanted to try one of each so I planted a bunch of the seeds hoping to get at least one plant of each type and that means way more eggplant than I originally planned on.  So far, I have had Purple Blush and Snowy White eggplants.  The purple blush is much milder and to me much better than the standard big blackish purple eggplants I usually see at the store. 

Please note that not only did the eggplant come from my garden, but so did the green onions, and the herbs; the thyme, sage and the basil.  My basil was blooming so I cooked with the blooms.

  • 1 large eggplant, halved lengthwise
  •     (Or three small home garden grown purple blush eggplants!)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, divided 
  • salt and pepper to taste 
  • 8 - 10 medium shrimp - peeled, deveined and chopped 
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil 
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme 
  • 3 or 4 chopped sage leaves or to taste
  • 2 –3  cloves garlic, chopped 
  • 2 green onions chopped 
  • 1/4 – 1/2 bell pepper chopped 
  • 1/2 cup white wine 
  • 1 cup Italian seasoned bread crumbs 
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese

This photo shows most of the ingredients I used. Except for the shrimp. And the wine. Mostly it is a not so subtle method of showing off my beautiful garden produce.  


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Scoop out the flesh of the eggplant, chop, and reserve. Coat shells with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper; set aside. 

Heat 1/4 cup olive oil in a medium skillet over medium high heat. Sauté onion, bell pepper, garlic, basil, thyme and sage until wilted. Stir in the reserved chopped eggplant. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until eggplant begins to turn golden in spots. Pour in wine, and cook 5 minutes.

Transfer to a large bowl, and mix in the bread crumbs and chopped shrimp. If mixture is dry, stir in more olive oil. Stuff mixture into eggplant shells. 

Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until eggplant is tender.  Sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top and return to oven just long enough to melt cheese.  

Serve with a fresh green salad and you’re all set. 

Here's a photo of the eggplant stuffed before they went in the oven. Because my eggplants were a bit small, I had more stuffing than space so I went to the garden and harvested a Snowy White eggplant to use for the last of it. 

- Karen

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