Using vegetables as cooking and serving vessels is a wonderful way to prepare and present them for a special dinner. Eggplant is often cooked this way, since it's skin is sturdy enough to hold its shape and the stuffing during baking. Here the filling is a mixture of ground meat, tomatoes, and mushrooms, with mozzarella scattered on top so it melts in the oven. They make a wonderful first course or a side dish for roasted pork.
- 1 eggplant
- 200 grams minced meat (veal, pork, turkey or a mixture)
- 50 grams chopped tomatoes
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 1 bay leaf
- 6 portobello mushrooms
- 1/2 fresh mozzarella (ball of, cubed)
- 3 fresh basil leaves
- 2 tablespoons white wine
- Chop the onion and sauté in olive oil. Add the chopped garlic and tomatoes. Stir and cook until the onion is soft.
- Rinse the bay leaf and add it to the stew. Add the minced meat and stir. Cook over low heat for 10 minutes.
- Add the wine, season with salt and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Rinse and slice the mushrooms. Add to the meat, stir and cook for another 10 minutes on low heat. Season and set aside.
- Halve the eggplant. Remove the pulp, leaving a thick enough rind so that it doesn't lose its shape. Save the pulp of the eggplant for another recipe.
- Place the hollowed eggplant halves in a saucepan with salted boiling water for 10 minutes.
- Remove and drain well.
- Place the eggplant in a baking dish with a little bit of olive oil on the bottom.
- Stuff with the minced meat mixture and sprinkle the mozzarella cubes and chopped basil leaves on top.
- Cook the eggplant in the oven at 375°F for 35-40 minutes.