Every spring and summer we visit this great restaurant in Grayton Beach. They have a wonderful stuffed eggplant. We order it every time we visit. We decided to make one of our own and it is fabulous. This recipe is so versatile. I chose shrimp but you could use any seafood, combination of seafood, you can leave the seafood out and add beef or chicken or omit all of the meat. This can be used for a side dish or a main course.
2 large eggplant
Olive oil to coat eggplant
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tbsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 medium onion, diced
2 medium ripe tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 cup fresh mushrooms, rough chopped
1 bay leaf
1 tablespoon basil
3 tablespoons alouette garlic and herb cheese (or cream cheese)
¾ cup finely grated parmesan
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 pound shrimp, peeled, deveined, and diced
1 egg, beaten
½ cup Italian bread crumbs
Extra parsley, chopped (for sprinkling)
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Halve the eggplant lengthwise. Place them in the baking dish, cut sides up. Drizzle generously with olive oil and season to taste.
Bake for 20 minutes or until tender. Scoop out the eggplant flesh with a spoon and mash it gently with a fork. In a skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. When it is hot, add the chopped garlic and onion to it. Cook mixture over medium heat, stirring often, for 2 minutes, or until the garlic is fragrant. Add the tomatoes, mushrooms, bay leaf, basil salt, and pepper.
Cook stirring often for 3-4 minutes and then stir in the eggplant flesh. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, for 7 minutes or until the mixture is pulpy. Discard the bay leaf. Lower the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Stir in cheese, parmesan, parsley, shrimp, salt, and pepper into the eggplant mixture. Once the mixture has cooled, stir in the beaten egg and bread crumbs. Fill the eggplant shells back with the stuffing. Return the shells to the baking dish. Sprinkle with olive oil.
Bake the eggplant for 30-40 minutes or until shrimp is done and stuffing is hot. During the last 10 minutes of baking, sprinkle the reserved parmesan on top of the eggplant and sprinkle with parsley.