Contains: Nightshades, dairy or coconut. Is: Vegetarian, can easily be made vegan / dairy-free.
By the way: Eggplant = Aubergine; Yogurt = Yoghurt.
For the yogurt topping, you can use low or full fat dairy, or use coconut yogurt – I’d avoid fat-free.
April for me turned out to be personal “sludge” month, so I am extending vegetarian/vegan recipe making halfway into May – up to May 15th or so.
I used a moderately-sized European style eggplant, which should serve two. Flavor profile I decided upon leaned towards the Middle-Eastern.
Salting the eggplant will draw out any bitterness, and the lemon juice over the eggplant will help prevent or discourage discoloring of the eggplant.
If you want the stuffing to hold together, which is not at all necessary, you can make the stuffing, allow it to cool, mix in an egg, then add it to the eggplant. I did not.
Prep Time (hands-on): 25-30 minutes.
Prep Time (marinating): 6 hours.
Cook Time: 1 hour.
Cuisine: Middle-eastern inspired.
Stuffed Eggplant: Farro, Mushroom, Shallot, Celery, with Shawarma Yogurt Topping
The Yogurt Topping:
- 1 cup / 240 mL yogurt (dairy or coconut, but NOT zero fat/fat free)
- 1 teaspoon shawarma seasoning
- Juice of 1/2 lemon.
- 1/2 cup / 100 grams farro
- Water as per package instructions (typically 1;3 ratio)
- 1/2 teaspoon mushroom “Better than Bouillion”. This contains salt, so no need to add more.
Stuffing the Eggplant: Amounts of ingredients vary due to variance in eggplant sizes.
- 1 eggplant, sliced longitudinally in half.
- Juice from about a third of a lemon.
- 2 good -sized shallots, peeled and chopped.
- About 4 button mushrooms, chopped.
- About 2-2.5 ounces / 60-70 grams of celery, chopped.
- About 1/2 cup / 120 mL of the above cooked farro.
- Cooking oil (or olive oil)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano.
- 1/4 teaspoon ground pepper
- Optional garnishes could include rinsed capers, chopped cilantro/coriander leaf, chopped parsley.
Make the yogurt topping first, as it will have to develop flavor.
In a small bowl, mix all the topping ingredients together, cover, and allow to sit in the fridge for 6-24 hours.
For the Farro: Add those ingredients together, and cook how you normally cook farrow (I use a rice cooker). Set aside. You can even make this a day in advance, which is what I ended up doing, and regrigerating, but it is not necessary to make it up that far in advance.
Now, for the eggplant / aubergine and its stuffing:
Take the sliced halves and sprinkle the cut surfaces with a heavy layer of salt, and squeeze lemon juice over this surface. Let sit for 30 or so minutes. Wipe off the salt and lemon after this point.
Pre-heat your oven to 350 F / 175 C.
Cut out the area of the eggplant half to be stuffed, and chop this up.
Place the remaining shell of eggplant into the oven for about 5-7 minutes, to soften. Remove and set aside.
To a skillet, add the oil and bring to a medium/medium high temperature. Add the shallots, stirring, and allowing them to grow translucent and lightly brown, about 5 minutes.
Add the mushrooms, celery, farro and the scooped out bits of eggplant to the skillet, and cook until the mushrooms release their water Add the oregano and ground pepper, stirring together.
Stuff the eggplant slices, and return the now-stuffed eggplant shells to the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes, testing texture with a fork.
To serve: lay out each eggplant half on its own plate, garnish as you choose or not with the suggestions above. Provide a good dollop of the yogurt topping to each serving, and optionally give each person more on the side.
This recipe is definitely a keeper! And this topping would be good with so many other items!..
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