Gluten Free Stuffed Eggplant!!
Look enticing? Well, it’s just as delicious as it looks! This is something I’ve made for years, sometimes as an appetizer, other times as a side dish…but hey, it can also be the main attraction! Get a nice G-F roll, and get ready to dip into that sauce! OMG!
This is 1 eggplant in the photo. Enough for two. But obviously, do the math and increase the numbers for a larger serving size.
Ingredients for 1 Eggplant:
¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
1 Eggplant. Remove stem, slice in half short-wise, scoop out the center but leave about ¼ in around the skin. We need some structure in order to hold up with the filling. Reserve the part you’ve removed. We’ll use it.
½ of a Zucchini. Skin left on after washing well. Remove stem end. Chopped into small pieces of about ½ in. in size.
½ Bell Pepper. Also cleaned, membrane removed, chopped into same size as Zucchini.
1 cup Cooked Rice. Brown, White, you decide.
1 Can Crushed Tomatoes. 14 oz. I like Muir Glen’s Roasted Tomatoes.
2 Garlic Cloves. Minced. Half for the filling, save half for the sauce.
Salt & Pepper to taste
Few Basil Leaves. Fresh leaves, if you can. Sliced.
After hollowing the Eggplant, place the eggplant shells in a large pot of boiling water and par-boil. But just until it’s slightly tender. DO NOT over boil it. It needs some shape to hold the filling. Don’t allow to get mushy.
Chop the parts of Eggplant that you removed from the center. Cut it the same size as the other veggies.
While the water & eggplant are doing their thing, take a large skillet and add the oil. When hot, saute the garlic just until fragrant. Don’t allow to brown.
Add the Eggplant filling that you’ve chopped. Saute until soft.
Remove and set aside.
Add the Zucchini and the Pepper and cook as well until tender.
Place in a large bowl along with the eggplant. Season with the Salt & Pepper.
Add the Cooked Rice to the bowl and combine everything well.
Stuff the Eggplant “shells” very gently. Fill to the opening.
In the same large skillet, you may need a drop more oil if it’s all been used up. Put in the 2nd half of the Garlic, and saute till fragrant. Place the tomatoes in and season as well with Salt & Pepper to your tastes. Put heat on low.
Nestle the filled Eggplant into the sauce , and put heat on low. Gently lay them on their sides, as in the photo.
Cover the skillet, and simmer for about 10 minutes. Then using a large spatula, very gently turn over. It may seem like this will be difficult, but use a gentle, slow motion and you can do it!! You may need a large fork or 2nd spatula to hold the top as you turn it over. I always use a second spatula.
Cook on the 2nd side for another 10 minutes.
Add the sliced Basil at the end for a fresh taste. Serve nice & hot. You’ll be making this for years to come, I’m sure!!