My oven is still half-broken, but I am determined to get through seven days of seven dinners! There’s all sorts of lovelies involving the stove, but I’ve been craving a stuffed eggplant for a ridiculous amount of time (ever since my last adventures which came out uber tasty!), and got a pack from my dad the other day, so it was fated and jazz. Of course with the oven on the fritz I’ll have to rely on raw desserts, but considering we licked and polished the nutty date apple cake off pretty quickly I don’t see that we’ll have much suffering in the household. For some reason suffering is one of Man-thing’s favourite themes. He’ll do voices for Gatsby le Cat about the inhumanity of it all, and how tuff life is for a little cat, and how he can’t even steal a few crumbs without getting into trouble, but humans are foul creatures that commit genocide and other atrocities and they can get all the biscuits they want (we had a little Eddie Izzard marathon at some point that has corrupted our view on cats begging).
Anyway, he tends to eat a bunch of rubbish like chips and other dastardly things by the packet (as in “party packet” size), but claims it’s all justified because life is agony. He uses that excuse as a reason for excessive naps, chocolate binges, more naps, and more chocolate/chips, so he’s pretty comfortable in assuming a sad face for things he’s secretly happy about.
I’m happy to report I don’t need to be sad to eat chocolate or cake, and certainly not to eat this dish! In fact, the glee I feel at making and eating a stuffed eggplant would cancel out any aspirations towards faux gloom, simply because I have a stupid smile that cavorts across my face without my permission, and I honestly don’t care. 😀 This recipe serves one, because Man-thing dislikes eggplant (though he did eat my eggplant pancake burger without complaint! Sucker!). Plus, how can one share such a thing? Even if I don’t finish both halves at once (which is pretty difficult, admittedly), it makes a lovely lunch and dinner combo. 🙂
Ingredients (serves 1):
- 1 medium eggplant, sliced in half lengthwise
- 1/2 cup black beans, cooked
- 2 baby marrows, sliced thinly + steamed
- 1 handful spinach + steamed
- 3 dried tomatoes, sliced thinly
- small bunch of Italian parsley, chopped finely
- 2 TBSP sticky marinade/bbq sauce
- 1 TBSP lemon juice
- 1 TBSP tomato paste
- spices to taste
- 1/2 TBSP EVOO
- Preheat the oven to 180C/350F and spray your baking pans/sheets.
- Slice your eggplant lengthwise and lightly score the fleshy part. Lightly and thinly coat it with a bit of EVOO and sprinkle some spices and herbs on top.
- Place the eggplant slices fleshy-side-down onto your prepared baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, then turn over the eggplant, lightly paint on a bit more EVOO and bake for another 20 minutes.
- In the meantime, steam your greens and place your black beans in a non-stick pot and let them fry for a few minutes on medium heat.
- Mix your sticky marinade, lemon juice, tomato paste and spices (I used lots of smoked paprika!) and scoop that into the pot, mixing with the beans. Let them fry for another 4 minutes, stirring occasionally, then add your steamed greens and dried tomato and let them fry for another 4 or so minutes on a low heat. Take off the stove once done.
- Once they’ve finished baking take out the eggplants (oven still on) and carefully scoop out the fleshy middles of the eggplant, leaving a little border of flesh all round. Place the flesh on the side – you can either chop it up and add it back into your bean filling OR you can just eat it like I did :D.
- Spoon your filling into the eggplant boat, drizzle with tahini-tomato sauce (see below) and bake for another 10-15 minutes.
- Optional: You can add nuts, layer a bit of jam inside the eggplant boat before adding the filling (oh man…yum!)…seriously, anything works.
To drizzle on top of the eggplant I decided on making another tahini-tomato sauce (the same I dipped my eggplant pancake burgers in yesterday) because I LOVE tahini and it just makes everything better. When baked it turns into this fabulous colour that is slightly reminiscent of cheese, but obviously more superior because of its smoky flavour.
- 1 tsp tahini
- 2 tsp tomato sauce
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp hot water
- splash white pepper
- smoked paprika
- Mix together in a little bowl. Viola! :p