Fresh Mushrooms with Eggplant and Tomato

1 pound eggplant
salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 large celery stalk, chopped
2 medium firm mushrooms, chopped
1-1/2 teaspoons garlic, chopped
1 large tomato, chopped
2 tablespoons breadcrumbs
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
1 teaspoon basil
fresh lemon juice
30 medium whole mushrooms

Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Make crisscross patterns in the pulp and sprinkle with salt. Let stand for 30 minutes. Rinse thoroughly and drain well, drying with paper towels. Peel and coarsely chop.

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Cook eggplant till softened. Let cool. Heat remaining oil and cook onion, celery, chopped mushrooms and garlic for 4 minutes. Add tomatoes and return eggplant to skillet. Stir in breadcrumbs, tomato paste and 3 tablespoons parsley. Add basil. Continue to cook for 4 minutes. Just before serving, wipe mushrooms with cloth dampened in lemon juice. Carefully remove the stems. Fill each cap with some of the eggplant mixture. Sprinkle with remaining parsley and serve.

You can serve the mushrooms hot by baking briefly until warm and then sprinkling with parsley.



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