From Eating Well magazine. These stuffed eggplants are filled with bell peppers, onion, garlic, and tomatoes. This dish is wonderful served with olives, hummus, warm pita and tabbouleh for a fantastic vegetarian feast.
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley, divided
- 3 plum tomatoes
- 1 large green bell pepper, cut lengthwise into quarters
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 large onion
- 1 teaspoon salt, divided into 1/4 and 3/4 teaspoon portions.
- 3 Tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 small-to-medium eggplants (10-12 ounces each)
- Lemon wedges for serving
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Coat a large roasting pan with cooking spray.
- Remove leaves from eggplants, but leave the stems on. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, through the stem.
- Using a small sharp knife, make a deep slit lengthwise down the flesh side of each eggplant half: start about 1 inch below the stem and stop about 1 inch from the bottom. Do not cut completely through the skin.
- Brush the eggplant all over with 2 Tablespoons oil. Sprinkle the eggplant flesh with 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place cut-side down in the prepared roasting pan. Bake for 15 minutes.
- Meanwhile, prepare the rest of the vegetables. Quarter and thinly slice the onion. Finely chop the garlic. Thinly slice 1 bell pepper quarter and set aside; dice the remaining pepper. Cut 1 tomato into 4 wedges and set aside; dice the remaining 2 tomatoes.
- Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the diced bell pepper, the diced tomatoes, 1/2 cup parsley, sugar, bay leaves and the remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring, for 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, and discard the bay leaves.
- After the eggplant has baked for 15 minutes, remove it from the oven. Carefully turn each eggplant half over and use 2 spoons to open and widen the slits. Stuff the slits with the vegetable mixture, pressing it down gently. Place a wedge of tomato in the middle of each half; evenly divide the reserved sliced pepper among the halves.
- Add 1/4 inch hot water to the roasting pan. Drizzle the eggplant with the remaining 2 teaspoons oil. Bake 30 minutes more.
- Let cool for at least 15 minutes. Serve warm or cool completely, refrigerate and serve cold. Garnish with the remaining 3 tablespoons parsley and lemon wedges.