MOUSSAKA-STYLE STUFFED EGGPLANT (MOOSEWOOD RESTAURANT NEW CLASSICS)
- 2 eggplants (1-1 1/4 lbs each)
- 3T olive oil
- 1c chopped onions
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 t ground cloves
- 3/4 t cumin
- 3/4 t cinnamon
- pinch of cayenne
- 1 3/4 c canned tomatoes with juice, chopped (14.5 oz can)
- 1c chopped green bell peppers
- 1c chopped mushrooms
- 1t salt
- 1/4 t pepper
- 1c bread crumbs
- 1 3/4 c ricotta cheese
- 2 egg whites
- 1c grated parmesan chz
1. Preheat oven to 400. Lightly oil baking tray.
2. Slice eggplants in half lengthwise. Score the flesh of each half with paring knife, being careful not to pierce skin. Use spoon to scoop out flesh and leave about 1/2" thick shell. Reserve flesh to use in filling.
3. Brush eggplant shells with 1T of oil and sprinkle lightly with salt. Place face up on prepared baking tray and bake for about 20 minutes, until very tender.
4. Meanwhile, heat remaining oil in nonreactive saucepan. Saute onions until translucent, 8-10 minutes. Add garlic, cloves, cumin, cinnamon, and cayenne and continue to saute for about 1 minute. Cut reserved eggplant flesh into small cubes and add them. Saute about 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Add tomatoes, bell peppers, and mushrooms. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and mix in salt, black pepper, bread crumbs, and 3/4 c of ricotta cheese. Set filling aside.
5. When eggplant shells are done, remove from oven and reduce tem to 350. In mixing bowl, beat egg whites until they are stiff and fold them into the remaining c of ricotta cheese.
6. Fill each shell with 1 1/4c of vegetable filling. Evenly cover with ricotta custard and then grated cheese. Return baking tray of stuffed eggplant to oven and bake for ~ 30 min, until puffed and lightly golden on top.