Stuffed Aubergine, with bacon, courgettes, red peppers and tomato sauce
If you like charred or roasted vegetables as much as I do you’re going to love this. At the outset I can’t take credit for this recipe as I was lucky enough to view this on Picture Real Food within their post on Bacon and Basil Stuffed Eggplant. As stuffing vegetables is a relatively new thing for me I’m always looking for new techniques, and this Stuffed Aubergine recipe is a fantastic idea. To be honest I don’t think I’d ever have thought of doing this. Yet, this is a quick, easy and tasty dish to make (as usual I went with ingredients that needed using up). I would make several changes to my version next time. After soaking the aubergine/eggplant I think I would pan-fry them cut side down for 10 or 15 minutes before allowing them to cool enough to be able to stuff them. As for the bacon, I’d used streaky this time, although I would go for a leaner cut next time and stuff the bacon with the fat out of the aubergine to allow it to roast better (I’m really not keen on fat that isn’t crisp). I’d also roast more courgette/zucchini and red pepper/capsicum. Added to that I would definitely par-boil smallish potatoes and allow them to roast with all of that bacon and olive oil, which would make this recipe even easier to do. As for the shallots, I only went with 2 large instead of using up what I had left. I adore them at this time of year and that wasn’t enough for me. I’d also roast a whole head of organic garlic, regardless of the smell! As for the Tomato sauce, that I’ve amended slightly (so it’s even more delish), I’m going to try the leftovers with capers and black olives tomorrow. The only other thing I would do is to pour freshly squeezed lemon juice, through a fine sieve, of about half a lemon over the aubergine before roasting them. There, think I’ve got that sorted. Well, I’m still learning about stuffing vegetables. Besides, I’d like to develop this so it’s good enough to cook for friends for a casual dinner.
Blogging on my part has been quiet of late, excepting for republishing my Courgette fritters again. Pleased to say that they turned out nicely. I also cooked celery soup last night to use up what was left in my cupboard. Wow! This time I’ve cooked it to a different ratio and it turned out to be so exquisite that I didn’t even need to add a little cream. So good, in fact, I just might do it as a new post. If I can get photos of it tomorrow. Daylight, during most days here, is so dreary right now.
- olive oil
- 1 x medium – large aubergine/eggplant, washed, cut in half lengthways, flesh scored 3 times lengthways (but not all the way through), soaked in water with about 2 tablespoons of table salt with a weight on top of the aubergine halves to keep them submerged
- table salt
- 2 x rashers lean bacon, placed so the fat is visible to allow it to get nicely crisp
- 1 x medium courgette/zucchini, washed, trimmed at both ends, 2 x slices needed cut lengthways
- 1 x red pepper/capsicum, washed, sliced from top to bottom, any pith and seeds removed and discarded, those slices cut in half
- about 2 – 4 extra slices or rashers of bacon, streaky could be used instead
- extra courgette for roasting, washed, trimmed both ends and cut into chunks
- extra red pepper, washed, top sliced off, all pith or membrane and seeds removed and discarded, flesh cut into large chunks
- about 200g (7.05 oz) x small potatoes per person, scrubbed and par-boiled
- 1 x whole head of (organic) garlic, kept whole with its top sliced off and discarded
- up to 200g (7.05 oz) x shallots, top sliced off, peeled, root end trimmed and kept whole
- 1/2 x freshly squeezed lemon juice, poured through a sieve – optional
Measurements within brackets above are approximate only.
- Preheat oven to: 200°C, 400°F or Gas 6
- As my aubergine was larger than medium I decided to soak it for an hour after preparing it (see ingredients above). Then, I rinsed it thoroughly before stuffing it with bacon in the middle score, courgette/zucchini to its left and red pepper/capsicum to the right of the bacon. This was added to a suitable roaster, along with the other vegetables. A little olive oil was drizzled over all and then roasted last night for an hour and left in the oven. Today I roasted them for about 20 minutes to get them really nice and hot. I’m using an electric oven so chances are that’s why it took mine so long to get nicely roasted (I have to roast on the second shelf up). The aubergine should be roasted long enough to allow the flesh to be really nice and soft without any bite to it.
- Next time I’m going to roast smallish par-boiled potatoes within the same roaster. I’ll also add more bacon, vegetables and a whole head of garlic.
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