Here is another post to celebrate all the fresh produce available now in the markets. I received an abundance of white eggplant in my CSA share this week. White eggplant has hard skin when compared to purple eggplant. The skin of the white eggplant should be peeled off. White eggplant has white flesh whereas purple eggplant has a greenish hue. White eggplants come with more seeds but are less acidic, less bitter, and creamier than purple eggplant. This recipe makes a delicious main dish or a side for chicken cutlets or grilled Italian sausage.
2 small white eggplants, 8-10 oz each, stems trimmed off
1/4 cup finely diced onion
¼ cup finely diced banana peppers (mild)
1 small garlic clove, minced
2 slices fresh tomato (Beefsteak tomato slices cut ¼-inch thick and diced
2 slices fresh mozzarella cheese, diced
3 basil leaves, chopped
¼ cup Italian seasoned panko crumbs
Salt and pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Cut a thin slice of eggplant off the top of each peeled eggplant. Dice the slices.
Hollow out the flesh of the eggplant to create a boat using a melon baller or small spoon, leaving a 1/2-inch of the flesh all around to create a shell. Dice the scooped-out eggplant flesh and combine it with the diced eggplant tops
In a medium skillet heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic and cook on medium-low heat for about 2-3 minutes, until onions are softened. Add the chopped eggplant and cook about 8-10 minutes. Add the chopped tomato and cook for about 5 minutes, until the tomato breaks down. Season with salt and pepper. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the panko crumbs, mozzarella cheese, and fresh basil. Let cool for about 15 minutes.
Oil a small baking dish and place the eggplant boats in the dish. Divide the stuffing evenly between the 2 eggplant boats.
Cover with foil and bake 45 minutes. Remove the foil and continue to cook until the eggplant is tender and the topping is brown about 15-20 minutes.