Stuffed Baby Eggplant (version II)

4 small Japanese eggplants, about 4 inches long
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup dry bread crumbs
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1/4 cup capers, drained and chopped
1/4 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves

Wash the eggplant and prick several times with the sharp point of a knife several times around each one then arrange the eggplants on the spit rod assembly about 1/2 inch apart to allow air to circulate. Grill until tender about 20 minutes. Remove from the spit rod.

When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, cut each one in half lengthwise and scoop out the insides, leaving a 1/4-inch-thick shell. Coarsely chop the eggplant flesh.

In a small sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat, add the garlic, and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the chopped eggplant, season with the salt and pepper, and cook, stirring, until the eggplant begins to turn golden, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and turn into a medium-size mixing bowl. Stir in the bread crumbs, cheese, capers, and parsley.

Stuff the eggplant shells evenly with the mixture. Pour the remaining olive oil over the serving plate, arrange the eggplant on the oil, and serve at room temperature.

Serves 6

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