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“Greek Stuffed” Japanese Eggplant- Kosher Like Me

The eggplant can get a bad wrap.  Those shiny purple orbs can often seem intimidating, but fear not, our baked stuffed eggplant is perfectly delicious!  This self-contained dinner with its crunchy top and flavorful feta packed filling will leave everyone smiling. 

3 Japanese eggplant (about 1 lbs.

   each), split lengthwise
4 Tbs. olive oil
1 c. cooked quinoa or brown rice
1 ½ C. chopped onion
2 Tbs. diced garlic
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. ground black pepper                                                                                                             
1C canned (San Marzano)diced tomatoes

1/4 C. chopped fresh leaf parsley
2 Tbs. chopped fresh oregano

2 Tbs. julienned basil
1 C. panko bread crumbs

3 Tbs. toasted pine nuts
1 C. crumbled feta

½ C. shredded Parmesan cheese

1/3 C. sliced Kalamata olives

Halve the eggplants lengthwise and with a sharp knife scoop out the pulp with a spoon, leaving a 1/2-inch shell, being careful not to pierce the skins. Chop the pulp.

Place the eggplant shells on a greased baking sheet and lightly brush the inside of each half with about 1 teaspoon of olive. Bake until the shells are softened but not brown, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

In a heavy skillet heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add quinoa and cook, stirring, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic, eggplant, salt and pepper, and cook until the eggplant is soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomatoes and olives and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add the parsley, oregano and basil, and stir well. Remove from the heat. Stir in 3/4 cup of bread crumbs and mix well into the vegetables. Stir in the feta and pine nuts, and re-season as needed.

Divide the filling among the eggplant shells, and sprinkle the remaining ¼ cup of bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese over the tops. Bake until the tops are golden and the stuffing is heated through, about 30 minutes. Drizzle with a bit of quality olive oil before serving.