Greg Dupree
Active Time
25 MIN
Total Time
1 HR 20 MIN
Yield
Serves : 6

If you don’t love eggplant yet, you will after one bite of these over-the-top stuffed dreamboats. Ripe tomatoes and roasted eggplant come together to yield a hearty filling, made even better with the addition of Italian sausage. Combined with a bright and lemony breadcrumb topping and a quick-fix tomato sauce jazzed up with fresh herbs, this makes a stunning summer main dish.

How to Make It

Step 1    

Heat 3 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add breadcrumbs, and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 5 to 6 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in lemon zest and 1/4 teaspoon salt; set aside.

Step 2    

Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Scoop out pulp, leaving a 1/4-inch shell. Chop pulp into 1/2-inch cubes. Sprinkle eggplant shells with 1 teaspoon salt, and invert onto a clean, dry towel. Let stand 30 minutes to drain.

Step 3    

Preheat broiler to high with oven rack 5 to 6 inches from heat. Pat eggplant shells dry, and brush with 1 tablespoon oil. Place eggplant shells, cut side up, on a baking sheet, and broil just until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from oven, and reduce oven temperature to 375°F.

Step 4    

Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add sausage, and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon to break up large pieces, until sausage is browned, 7 to 8 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer sausage to a bowl lined with paper towels. Reserve drippings in skillet.

Step
Step 5    

Heat remaining 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over medium-high. Cook reserved eggplant cubes in hot oil, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 2 to 3 minutes. Add onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes, garlic, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 2 to 3 minutes.

Step 6    

Transfer tomato mixture to a large bowl. Add sausage, feta, 1/2 cup breadcrumb mixture, egg, 2 tablespoons oregano, 2 tablespoons mint, 2 tablespoons parsley, and vinegar; toss until combined. Divide mixture evenly among eggplant shells. Top evenly with remaining breadcrumb mixture, and place stuffed eggplants in a single layer in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish. Bake at 375°F until filling is golden and bubbly, 25 to 30 minutes.

Step 7    

Meanwhile, stir together marinara sauce, remaining 2 teaspoons oregano, remaining 2 teaspoons mint, and remaining 2 teaspoons parsley in a small saucepan. Heat over low just until warmed through, about 5 minutes. Drizzle over baked stuffed eggplant just before serving. Sprinkle with additional feta, if desired.

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