Stuffed Eggplant

Original recipe HERE

I've been making this for years.  It's an easy, one-dish (one-plant?) meal that can stand on its own.  But the filling can be baked separately (sans eggplant shells) and served over pasta or as a small entree.  Since I only make it for two people, one eggplant is used.  Obviously the ingredients can be easily doubled, tripled, etc.  It's a go-to dinner that I usually make when I have a lackluster meal plan for the week.  As I walk the produce section, I spy the eggplant...and since I always have the other ingredients on hand, I feel a little relief that at least one night's offering will get a thumbs up.

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium eggplant
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
black pepper, to taste
4 Tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1 teaspoon chopped fresh parsley [optional]
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese

1) Cut eggplant in half, length-wise.  Make several incisions (leaving a 1/4-inch eggplant shell) that allow you to lift out the insides (scoop if necessary).  Dice eggplant centers into 1/2-inch cubes.
2) Put in a collander and sprinkle generously with salt.  Place in sink to sweat for 30 minutes.  Rinse and thoroughly dry.
3) Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
4) Heat olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat.  Add eggplant cubes, onion, garlic, oregano, and pepper.  Cook and stir until lightly browned.
5) Add eggplant mixture to a bowl and stir with parmesan, bread crumbs, and parsley.  Scoop into eggplant shells.  Place in a shallow baking dish.
6) Top with tomato sauce and mozzarella.
7) Bake 30 minutes or until eggplant is fork-tender and cheese is bubbly.

Notes: None, since I've made this so many times.  One variation is to mix the tomato sauce and mozzarella directly into the eggplant mixture.

Kid Participation:
* Sprinkle eggplant cubes with salt (because a heavy hand won't do any harm)
* Stir eggplant mixture and other ingredients
* Sprinkle cheese on top

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