Have you ever made a recipe that you just loved, but you couldn’t find the recipe for it when you tried to make it years down the road? …& despite searching for it on the internet, you couldn’t find anything quite like what you remember the recipe to be? Well that happened to me with this delicious meal! Twenty-some years ago, I use to make a stuffed eggplant recipe similar to what I have concocted here, but when I searched for the recipe I could not locate anything like it online. The recipe I loved so much came on a bag of brown rice at the time, but even the company that once had the recipe on their bag of rice for so long, does not have it on their website, & since I couldn’t find anything similar online after searching & searching, I had to reinvent it myself! I found a few Italian stuffed eggplant recipes that were similar to what I remember, but just not the same & most had tomatoes, which i didn’t want in the recipe. So I used some of the recipes I found as a general guide & concocted the stuffed eggplant recipe I was looking for! It was so yummy too, so I wanted to share in case anyone else is looking for that “perfect” recipe that even Google doesn’t have!
2 medium eggplants, halved & scored
Olive oil, salt, pepper to taste
1c wild rice, uncooked
1 3/4c low sodium chicken broth
2 medium sweet or yellow onions, diced
Olive oil, salt, pepper to taste
2 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
5oz shredded Parmesan (or mixed Parmesan & Pecorino Romano)
1/4c fresh parsley, chopped
1/4c fresh basil, chopped
1/2T Italian seasoning
Salt, pepper to taste
2 eggs, beaten
3/4c panko breadcrumbs
1T dried parsley
1oz shredded Parmesan (or mixed Parmesan & Pecorino Romano)
2T butter, melted
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cook rice according to package instructions using low sodium chicken broth in place of water for cooking liquid, & add 1/2T butter. If cooking on stovetop, cooking time will be about 45min. If using Instant Pot “rice” setting to pressure cook the rice, it will take approximately 15min. Reduce cooking liquid to a little over 1.5c if pressure cooking in Instant Pot. If additional liquid remains when cooking cycle is complete, let rest & allow rice to absorb the remainder of the liquid.
Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Score the meat/flesh of the eggplant with a knife diagonally both ways being careful not to cut through the skin.
Drizzle eggplant halves w/ olive oil & sprinkle with salt & pepper to taste. Massage a little olive oil on the skin side too, & place flesh side down (skin side up) on baking pan. Bake for 30min.
Place diced onions in a sauté pan & drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Salt & pepper to taste. Sauté until transparent, but still crisp. Remove from heat, & add garlic.
Once eggplant has finished baking, use spatula to gently flip. Use a spoon to gently scoop the cooked flesh of each eggplant out (being very careful not to tear cooked skins), & add to cooked rice in a large bowl (or if Instant Pot was used to cook rice, place the scooped eggplant in Instant Pot pan with rice. Stir to combine. Leave eggplant skins on baking pan.
To eggplant & rice mixture, add sautéed onions & garlic, 5oz shredded Parmesan/Pecorino Romano, fresh parsley & basil, Italian seasoning, salt & pepper to taste, & 2 eggs (beaten). Stir until well combined.
Spoon eggplant stuffing mixture into eggplant skins until overstuffed to the max. If unable to continue over stuffing (I had about 1c extra), place remaining mixture in a small oven safe dish & place on pan with stuffed eggplants to bake.
Prepare panko topping. Mixing panko breadcrumb, dried parsley, & cheese together.
Sprinkle stuffed eggplants & extra stuffing with panko mixture, & drizzle melted butter over panko topping using a spoon.
Place stuffed eggplant back in 350 degree oven, & bake for 35-40min, or until panko topping is browned.
Remove from oven & serve. Serves 4… plus, possibly a bonus side serving to add to another meal.