This is a great way to use the eggplant from your garden or farm stand. Feel free to experiment with whatever vegetables, cheeses and herbs you have on hand for stuffing and topping. You can make a vegetarian version by leaving out the bacon.
- 1 medium-sized eggplant
- 3 bacon slices (optional)
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 (6-8-ounce) package button mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 1 teaspoon dried herbs (such as oregano, thyme, basil, tarragon), to taste*
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup grated cheese (approximately 2 ounces)*
- 1/4 cup bread crumbs
- 1 tablespoon chopped chives, for garnish
- 1 tablespoon chopped parsley, for garnish
- Cut the eggplant in half and scoop out most of the flesh, leaving the outside intact. Boil the eggplant halves in water for about 5 minutes (alternatively, bake for about 40 minutes in a 350-degree oven).
- Chop the eggplant flesh and boil in the same water until soft (or roast alongside the eggplant shells). Drain.
- Fry bacon in a pan until crispy. Remove bacon and drain grease from pan.
- In the same pan, sauté onion until almost translucent. (If not using bacon, sauté onion in 2 teaspoons olive oil.)
- Add garlic and mushrooms. When mushrooms are soft, add cooked eggplant flesh.
- Season to taste with herbs and salt and pepper. Mix well.
- Place eggplant halves on a baking sheet. Layer cheese and filling inside the eggplant halves. Top with bread crumbs and bake in a 350-degree oven for 20 minutes until bread crumbs are lightly browned.
- Top with bacon, chives and parsley or other garnishes of your choice.
- Note: You may use any herbs of your choosing; if you use fresh herbs, chop finely and use approximately 1 tablespoon. You may also use any type of cheese or mix of cheese, such as cheddar, parmesan, mozzarella or feta.