I am not one to be too creative in the kitchen. I usually follow directions. i am pretty good at that! Still, when my friend Lina had her Creative Ingredient Challenge , I thought I would give it a go. The ingredient i was given was eggplant. The challenge was to create a recipe and to have your best friend read it or taste it. I also had to share a memory with my best friend.
First, I will start with my memory. My best friend is my husband. He is a sweetheart. I was thinking of a particular memory of him because now the spring flowers are blooming. I remember a day he surprised me after work. He had arrived late to pick me up and apologised because he had stopped on the side of the road to pick some of my favourite spring wildflowers. It was a wonderful surprise! I was having a particularly crappy day and he knew what to do. That is what best friends friends do. I am just lucke enough to be married to him. 🙂
The next part of the challenge is to be creative and this is the hard part! My mom used to make stuffed potatoes and she called them ¨potato boats¨. So this inspired me to stuff the eggplants. I decided to stuff them with tomato and onion because these always seem to go well with eggplants. I used purple onions because I wanted a pretty colour!
My husband adored this and actually raved about it to his mom! I will have to make this again!
Ingredients (Serves 4 because these are quite filling!They are quite good the next day as well)
4 small or medium sized egglants
Salt and pepper
Sunflower oil for frying
150 ml olive oil
Juice of one lemon
2 teaspoons of sugar
A handfull of chopped parsley
1 teaspoon Provençal herbs (Thyme, rosemary)
2 medium sized red onions, cut in half and sliced finely (You may need a bit less depending on the size of your eggplants)
4 garlic cloves, chopped finely
1 tablespoon olive oil
400 g chopped tomatoes, drained (that is about a cup and a half. You may need a bit more or less depending upon the size of your eggplants)
1.Step one is to prepare the filling.Mix the onions, tomato, garlic, 150 ml of olive oil, 2 teaspoons of sugar in a large bowl. Add the parsley and add salt and pepper to taste. (This makes a yummy and quick salad too.) I also added a teaspoon or so of Provençal herbs! Set aside.
2. Partially peel the eggplants and put them in a bowl of salted water for about 5 minutes. Dry them with a paper towel. In a large, deep fying pan, pour just enough sunflower oil to cover the base. Heat on medium heat. when it comes to the desired temperature, place the eggplants in and fry, turning over intermittently so that all the peeled sides are golden. Fry until they soften a bit!
3. Place the eggplants on a paper towel to drain. There won´t be much oil or grease! When they have cooled down well enough so that you can handle them, slit them open being sure to keep the ends intact. They look like little boats! (Reserve the oil in the pan because you will use it later.)
4. Spoon in the tomato mixture and pack them well. Arrange the eggplants in the pan once more. You may need to add a bit of oil for frying. In a small bowl, mix the tablespoon of olive oil with the lemon juice and pour it over the eggplants. Heat the pan on low medium heat and cook for about 30 to 35 minutes. The cooking time may vary depending upon the size of the eggplants. Use the caramelized oil at the base of the pan to baste occasionally.
Sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper and serve warm!
I am really happy with the result and am glad I tried this! I will be checking out the other participants´goodies now!
Have a good week everyone!