Stuffed Eggplant Halves

3 3/4 pound eggplant
1 tablespoon salt
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup celery, thinly sliced
1/2 cup yellow onion, diced
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/2 cup stock
1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
2 tablespoons parsley, chopped
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 teaspoons pine nuts, toasted
salt and pepper to taste

Trim off tops of eggplants and discard. dice up 1 of the eggplants and place in a bowl. Cut the other 2 eggplants in half lengthwise and dig out the flesh in the center, Leaving about a 1/4-inch layer of eggplant attached to the skin. Chop the flesh and add to the bowl of diced eggplant. Add the 1 tablespoon of salt to the bowl and toss together well. Place in a colander and allow to drain for 45 minutes.

Heat a large frying pan and brown the 4 eggplant halves and the garlic in 2 tablespoons of the oil (you may have to do this in batches). Remove from the pan and add the remaining 1 tablespoon or oil. Add the celery and the onion and sauté until the vegetables are very tender. Rinse the salted eggplant with cold water and drain well. Add to the frying pan and sauté for 5 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients except the salt and pepper to taste. Cover and simmer 20 to 30 minutes until the eggplant is very tender and a thick sauce has formed, stirring often. Fill the eggplant halves with the mixture and place in an oiled baking dish. Bake in a preheated 375°F oven for 25 minutes, or until the eggplant shells collapse and are very tender. Serve warm or cold.



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