Saturday, August 11, 2012

Stuffed Eggplant and Patty Pan Squash


A few weeks ago I was looking for our vegetarian meal for the week and went to Allrecipes.com for inspiration.  One of the first recipes I stumbled upon was for stuffed eggplant.  I'd never stuffed eggplant before, but it sounded delicious.  Of course, I can't just follow any recipe exactly and in fact, this recipe I pretty much threw out the window except for the eggplant and the mushrooms.

So stuffed eggplant went on the meal plan for the week and eggplant went on the grocery list.  Finding no suitable eggplant at the community market, I purchased a nice big fat one from the grocery store that Saturday.  By the time Friday rolled around and I was ready to fix it, though, the eggplant was a mushy rotten mess.  It went in the trash and I punted.

The next Saturday I tried again at the community market and found these beautiful white eggplant at one of my favorite vendors.  They were just barely too big to fit neatly in the palm of my hand.  Then at another vendor I kept eyeing these larger patty pan squashes.  I usually only find very small patty pans that are suitable for sauteing or slicing into casseroles.  But these sat so nicely on their flat green end, and just seemed to be begging to be stuffed.  For $2.20 total for 2 patty pans and 3 white eggplants, I brought them all home to be stuffed.

Once I got the "shell" out of the way, I had to figure out what to stuff in them.  I knew I wanted to use some cherry tomatoes from the 7 year old's gardening club's garden, mushrooms, and onions.  But I felt it needed more substance.  So throughout the week, I jotted notes as to what might go in my eggplants and patty pans.  The night I made them, I pretty much pulled vegetables out of the fridge until I came up with what looked like a good combination.  My husband and I both loved these, so I guess I got it right.  The eggplant ones were warm and soothing and the squash ones had a fresh light flavor to them.  It was so interesting how the shells made a difference in the overall flavor.

I used white button mushrooms because that's what I had, but cremini (or baby portabellas would have been more flavorful).  I also used green bell pepper.  Any color would have worked nicely here.  A melon baller worked well in scooping the flesh out of the eggplant and especially the patty pans.  The skins on the white eggplant are much tougher than the skins of the purple eggplant.  While I did scoop out the flesh while I was eating the eggplant, the skins aren't very enjoyable to eat.

Stuffed Eggplant and Patty Pan Squash

2 white eggplant, halved
2 patty pan squash, stem end cut off
2 tablespoons oil
1/2 cup green onion, sliced
1/2 cup bell pepper, diced
1 1/2 cups mushroom, halved and sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped, or 1 teaspoon dried basil
salt and pepper
1/2 cup panko crumbs
3/4 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Place the eggplants and patty pans in a 9 x 13 baking dish and bake 10 to 15 minutes to soften the vegetables.

Heat oil in a large skillet.  Once hot, saute green onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, parsley and basil.

Scoop the flesh out of the eggplant and patty pans, leaving a sturdy wall.  Dice half of the vegetable flesh and add to pepper and mushroom mixture in the skillet.  Continue to saute until vegetables begin to caramelize  and brown.

Stir in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper.  Cook for another 1 - 2 minutes just until tomatoes soften.

Remove from heat and stuff mixture into eggplant and patty pan squash.  Top each eggplant and squash with panko and then with mozzarella.

Bake in oven for 10 - 15 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves two.

17 comments:

  1. Stuffed eggplant... what a fantastic idea! Love the stuffing, it's so full of many healthy vegetables!

    Stopping by from Manic Monday (#81 Beef Burgers with Bacon and Red Onion)

    Amber @ The Cook's Sister

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  2. Yummy: love stuffed any type of squash plant.....!!!
    Especially with cheesy stuffing...

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  3. YUM. I don't think I've ever seen white eggplant before! Does it taste like regular? YUm.

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    1. It tasted just like the larger purple eggplant to me. The skin is tougher, though, and not very edible. I did a tiny bit of research on white eggplant and found that white eggplant is the "original." According to what I read, it has been genetically modified over the years to be larger and purple.

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  4. Love it - can't wait to try it - - just got a bunch of eggplants and patty pans so I'm ready to go. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from http://allthoseartsygirls.blogspot.com/

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  5. I've never seen white eggplant, how unique! And stuffing them? excellent dish. Thanks for sharing on Southern Sundays! Have a great week!

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  6. Looks yummy! What a great idea. I found you at the NY Melrose Family link party. :)

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  7. Great meatless meal! I've been looking for more ways to use eggplant, thanks for linking up!

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  8. Healthy and tasty. Thanks so much for linking up! Sarah

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  9. These are lovely--a beautiful summer dish. The cheese and bread crumb topping sounds especially good! Thank you for sharing with See Ya In the Gumbo this week.

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  10. What a garden delight, please share this recipe on foodie friday today.

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  11. I'm so glad you shared this on the Terrific Tuesdays link party! I have a bunch of eggplant, have never cooked with it and had no idea what to do with it. This is perfect. Thanks for sharing!

    Katie Drane
    http://www.funhomethings.com

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  12. I have never thought to stuff eggplant. What a great idea. What a great meal for Meatless Monday! Thank you for sharing at All my Bloggy Friends this week! I hope to see you again Tuesday! :)

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  13. I just pinned your awesome recipe. Thank you so much for sharing with Full Plate Thursday.
    Come Back Soon!
    Miz Helen

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  14. that looks amazing! Wow, I really am impressed! You are being featured tonight this weeks Tasteful Tuesday party. This link will go live tonight at 8:30 central time. http://www.nap-timecreations.com/2012/08/taco-dip-and-tasteful-tuesday-party.html

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  15. Thank you so much for linking up last week at Recipe Sharing Monday. The new link party is now up and I'd love it if you joined us again. Have a great week!

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  16. I am always looking for new ways to make the veggies we get in our CSA basket. Thanks so much for sharing on Tout It Tuesday. Hope to see you tomorrow.

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