By: Toby Twain
Stuffed vegetables might be the best and perfect way to have all the greens you need in your diet. They might take longer to make, but it’s an excellent option if you struggle to include vegetables in your everyday meals. Besides, the stuffing options are limitless and they can be vegan and vegetarian as well.
This recipe in particular is vegetarian, but check other versions of this same recipe here: minuterice.com/recipes/rice-stuffed-eggplant-parmesan/. You’ll find your way through a Mediterranean version of it!
The idea behind stuffed vegetables is to have a mix of flavors and textures when you eat it. That’s why seasoning is so important and why we try to include different kinds of ingredients which will contribute to the experience.
In this sense, Jasmine rice might be the perfect option for stuffed eggplants. Jasmine rice is an aromatic type of white rice typically used in Thai food. When you cook it, the buttery fragrance impregnates the whole dish but not in an invasive way. It’s subtle and it usually makes the dish come together. If you’re not used to cooking with Jasmine rice, make sure you follow the cooking instructions in the packet. In this recipe, you’ll cook it in tomato sauce.
Cooking can only be learnt through experience. Even though some seasonings like oregano, thyme and some other herbs go great with this vegetable, you’re highly encouraged to try this recipe out and give it a go to your own liking.
A good tip is to season the eggplants in the first step so that they are well soaked in those flavors.
- 3 eggplants.
- 1 tbsp of salt.
- 1 tbsp of pepper.
- 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil.
- 2 cloves of garlic.
- 1 ½ cup of tomato sauce.
- 1 cup of water.
- 1 cup of Jasmine rice.
- 2 cups of mozzarella cheese.
- 1 cup of Parmesan cheese.
- Fresh parsley.
- You’ll start by cooking the eggplants. Wash them and half them. Preheat the oven to maximum heat. Prepare a roaster by placing some foil paper and place the halved eggplants. Season them by sprinkling some salt and pepper. Pour some extra virgin olive oil all over and cover the eggplants with the foil paper. Take that to the oven and cook for half an hour. Once done, turn the oven off and let the eggplants cool off. After a while and making sure they are cooler. Scoop the inside of the eggplants, but don’t discard that, set that aside.
- Take a large skillet and preheat some olive oil in it to a medium heat. Take two cloves of garlic and chop them nice and small. Take that to the skillet and fry it. Now take back the inside of the eggplants and chop it down. Take it to the skillet and stir everything together. Season with some salt and pepper and add any other seasoning you like. Cook and brown the eggplants. Once done, remove from the skillet and set everything aside.
- In the same skillet, pour a cup and a half of tomato sauce and half a cup of water. Bring that mix to a boil and then add a cup of rice. Cook with the lid on until the rice is done and then remove the skillet from the heat. Let it sit for five minutes making sure the liquid is fully absorbed.
- Now you have all the ingredients ready and it’s time that you mix them up. Take the vegetables to the skillet with the rice and mix everything together. Add a cup of chopped mozzarella cheese and a cup of Parmesan cheese. Mix and let the cheese melt.
- With that mix, stuff the halved eggplants and sprinkle them with some more Parmesan cheese and some fresh basil. Take that back to the oven for only ten minutes so that the cheese melts. Take out and serve!
Depending on the size of the eggplants this can be a main dish or a side dish for some meat. However, it is quite filling in itself. If you have any leftovers, store the eggplants in an airtight container and take them to the fridge or the freezer.
In the fridge, eggplant leftovers can last up to a week. However, in the freezer they can last up to three months. Remember to blanch them and peel them ahead.