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Garlic-Stuffed Roasted Eggplant

Garlic-stuffed roasted eggplant is a tantalizing dish that celebrates the robust flavors of the Mediterranean. This recipe transforms humble eggplants into a gourmet masterpiece by infusing them with savory garlic and aromatic herbs. With its simple yet sophisticated preparation, this dish is perfect for impressing guests at dinner parties or enjoying as a comforting weeknight meal. Let’s dive into the culinary journey of creating this flavorful delight.

 

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley, chopped (for garnish)
  • Optional: crumbled feta cheese or grated Parmesan cheese for serving

 

Steps:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and score the flesh in a crisscross pattern, being careful not to pierce through the skin.
  2. In a small bowl, combine the minced garlic, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Mix well to create the garlic-infused oil mixture.
  3. Using a pastry brush or spoon, generously brush the eggplant halves with the garlic-infused oil mixture, making sure to coat the flesh evenly.
  4. Place the eggplant halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roast in the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes, or until the eggplants are tender and golden brown on top.
  5. Once the eggplants are roasted, remove them from the oven and let them cool slightly. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley and optional crumbled feta cheese or grated Parmesan cheese before serving.

 

Variations:

  • Add chopped tomatoes and fresh basil to the garlic-infused oil mixture for a burst of freshness and color.
  • Incorporate cooked quinoa or couscous into the stuffing mixture for added texture and protein.
  • For a creamy twist, mix some plain Greek yogurt or tahini into the garlic-infused oil mixture before brushing it onto the eggplants.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices, such as thyme, rosemary, or smoked paprika, to customize the flavor profile according to your preferences.

 

Tips:

  • Choose eggplants that are firm and glossy, with unblemished skin, for the best results.
  • To reduce bitterness, you can salt the eggplant halves and let them sit for 15-20 minutes before rinsing and patting dry.
  • Make sure to score the flesh of the eggplants before roasting to allow the garlic-infused oil mixture to penetrate and flavor the eggplants evenly.
  • Serve the garlic-stuffed roasted eggplant as a side dish alongside grilled meats or fish, or enjoy it as a satisfying vegetarian main course with a side of crusty bread or salad.

 

Garlic-stuffed roasted eggplant is a culinary masterpiece that celebrates the vibrant flavors of the Mediterranean. With its tender roasted eggplants infused with aromatic garlic and herbs, this dish is sure to delight your taste buds and leave you craving more. Whether served as a side dish or main course, this recipe offers a delicious and nutritious way to enjoy the versatile eggplant.

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