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Mains, Sides, Vegetarian

Eggplant stuffed with piquillos and manchego

Every summer there comes a time when it's not enough to slice a tomato or saute a zucchini or grill an eggplant. With almost everything but corn on the cob, simple gets boring. You start to want a little more ... Read more

Total time: 50 minutes | Serves 4 as a side dish, 2 as a main course
  • 2 Japanese eggplants (about 5 ounces each), preferably white or lavender
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 4 canned piquillo peppers, drained, patted dry and diced
  • 3/4 cup panko (Japanese bread crumbs)
  • 3/4 cup grated aged manchego cheese, divided
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground pepper

Step 1Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

Step 2Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Using a melon baller or sharp spoon, carefully scoop out the flesh, leaving thin shells; set aside. Coarsely chop the flesh.

Step 3Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook until softened, then add the chopped eggplant and thyme. Cook, stirring, until the eggplant is soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the piquillos. Cool, then stir in the bread crumbs and one-half cup of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4Divide the stuffing among the eggplant shells. Set the shells in a baking dish that's at least 3 inches deep and large enough not to crowd the stuffed shells. Top each with the remaining cheese. Carefully pour water around the eggplants to a depth of one-fourth inch or halfway up the sides of the eggplants. Cover the dish with foil.

Step 5Bake 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the shell is very tender, about 15 minutes longer. Serve warm or at room temperature (if not serving immediately, remove from the baking dish with a slotted spatula before cooling).

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