Multi-National Spicy Eggplant Bake

2 small eggplants
1/4 cup olive oil
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (or 1 tablespoon dried mint)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 can tomato sauce, (8 ounces)
1 ripe tomato, peeled, seeded, and diced
3/4 cup cooked rice (or 3/4 cup cooked diced potatoes)
1/2 cup new mexican green chiles, chopped fine (fresh or frozen)
parmesan cheese for garnish

Wash the eggplants and slice in half horizontally. Using a sharp knife, cut around the inside of each eggplant, leaving about 1/4-inch "wall." Carefully scoop out the inside with a teaspoon. Reserve.

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet and sauté the eggplant, the onion, and the garlic for 3 minutes, taking care not to burn the garlic. Then add the remaining ingredients and stir.

Fill the eggplant halves with the mixture, mounding the tops. Arrange the halves in a baking dish. They should be close together so that they don't topple over. Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes, or until the mixture is very hot and the sides of the eggplant are cooked. Sprinkle with grated Parmesan cheese if desired.



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