How to Make Easy Stuffed Eggplant (Aubergine)
Baked Stuffed Eggplant or Aubergine: An Incredibly Versatile Dish
Eggplant is also known as aubergine. I created this recipe by combining the techniques used for an Italian dish called Melanzane alla Parmigiana and a Turkish dish called Imam Bayildi (which, roughly translated, means "the Imam fainted with pleasure!"). It is nourishing and filling, and it makes a complete, delicious vegetarian meal. It can also be used as a starter or accompaniment to another dish, such as meat.
At the bottom of this page I have added two YouTube videos, one about how to cook Melanzane alla Parmigiana and the other of how to cook Imam Bayildi.
- 2 small or 1 large eggplant(s)
- 2 tomatoes (medium or large) or 1 tin of chopped tomatoes instead
- 1 small courgette (optional)
- 1 onion
- 1 or 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 ounces grated cheddar cheese
- pinch of salt
- mixed herbs or chopped marjoram or coriander leaves
- 1 clove
- fresh or crushed chilli or chilli powder to taste
- 1 to 2 tablespoons of breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons of water
Note: Accurate quantities are not particularly important, and you can vary the ingredients according to taste or availability.
- Medium saucepan
- Cheese grater
- Kitchen knife
- Chopping board
- Baking dish
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthways. Make criss-cross cuts into the eggplant flesh, taking care not to pierce the skin.
- Sprinkle the exposed eggplant flesh with salt and leave for up to 30 minutes (to draw out the bitter juice). If you are in a hurry or feeling lazy, you can skip this step—I often don't bother with it.
- Meanwhile, peel the onion and chop into fairly small pieces. Fry the onion gently in a saucepan with 1 tablespoon of olive oil until translucent and golden.
- Add finely chopped garlic.
- Rinse the eggplant in water, squeezing to remove the bitter juice if you have previously salted it. With a knife, dig out most of the flesh, trying not to pierce the skin, and add just the flesh to the saucepan. Place the empty skins into a baking dish and sprinkle a teaspoonful of water on them to prevent them drying out, and then place the dish in the oven on Gas marked 7 for about 5 minutes.
- Add chopped courgette to the saucepan (optional).
- Chop the tomatoes into small pieces and add them to the onions, together with a tablespoonful of water, and add salt and the other flavorings; continue cooking for about five minutes until the mixture is soft.
- Remove the partially cooked skins from the oven and fill them with the mixture from the saucepan.
- Pour a tablespoonful of water over the top and in the dish.
- Spread breadcrumbs over the top and cover with grated cheese.
- Bake the stuffed eggplant in the oven for about 20 minutes until lightly browned on top.
This eggplant or aubergine dish can be served hot, lukewarm or at room temperature. In the Mediterranean, lukewarm is fine, but then their weather is hot. Personally, I prefer it piping hot and straight from the oven.
It's nice served with rice.