Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Turkey Sausage Stuffed Eggplant

Stuff It!   Stuff the eggplant, that is.  One of my favorite ways to serve and eat eggplant is fried and layered into a crusty piece of French bread.  But, when I choose to limit my intake of bread and fried foods, this preparation is a close second.

Eggplant is one of those vegetables which is overlooked or completely ignored.  It's usually "stuffed" into a dark corner in the grocery store.  In my store I have to stand on tip toes to reach up and grab one.    It's as if they are trying to hide the eggplant!  Maybe, it's because no one knows what to do with it!  And, if you don't, you can always use one as a Mediterranean decoration.  Pick a colorful bowl, fill with lemons, pomegranates and sprigs of rosemary.  Plop an aubergine colored eggplant in the center. (I just gave myself a great decorating tip!)  If you want to make a meal instead of decorate, stay tuned!

Turkey Sausage Stuffed Eggplant

2 smaller (6-7 ") eggplants, or you can use 1 large (8-9") size

2 tbsp olive oil

3-4 turkey sausages, removed from casings

1/4 of a yellow onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, chopped

3 mushrooms, chopped

1/4 cup diced red pepper

1 cup chicken or vegetable broth

2 Tbsp fresh parsley, chopped

1 tsp fennel seeds

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

Heat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the eggplants in half, lengthwise and scoop out the pulp.  Do this by using a paring knife to cut withing 1/2 inch of the outside.  Lift out as much pulp as you can, then carve the rest.   Don't completely remove all the pulp.  Reserve the scooped out pulp and  place the hollowed eggplants on a baking sheet, cut side up.  Drizzle with one of the tablespoons of oil.   Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes, remove and set aside.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet, brown the turkey while chopping into bite size pieces using a wooden spoon, then add the onions, garlic, mushrooms, and red peppers.   Add one cup of diced (reserved) eggplant.  Cover and continue to cook on medium for about 7 minutes.   Add the fennel seeds, parsley and broth, stir, cover loosely and reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer for 15 minutes.

Stuff the eggplants, firmly and sprinkle cheese on top.  At this point you can refrigerate and bake later.  Or, set the oven to 350 degrees and bake for about 10-15 minutes.

Serves 4.

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