Creole Stuffed Eggplant

(2 votes)

2 tablespoons safflower oil
1 large stalk celery, chopped fine
1 small green bell pepper, diced
1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 cup dry whole-grain bread crumbs
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium eggplant (1 pound)
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 dash cayenne pepper
1 cup ripe tomatoes or one can imported

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

Heat the oil in large skillet. Add the onion, celery, and garlic and sauté over low heat until the onion is translucent. Add the green pepper and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.

In the meantime, stem the eggplants and cut them in half lengthwise. With a sharp knife, score each half several times lengthwise and across, carefully removing the pulp. Leave a sturdy shell of about 1/4-inch all around.

Chop the eggplant pulp and add it to the skillet mixture along with all the remaining ingredients except the bread crumbs. Add a bit of water, just enough to keep the mixture moist. Simmer, covered, over low heat until the eggplant is tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in the bread crumbs.

Set the eggplant shells in an oiled shallow baking dish, which should be of a size that they can be securely propped up against each other. Stuff them, then bake for 30-40 minutes, or until the shells are tender but not collapsed.

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