Last week I wrote about CHOCOLATE WACKY CAKE after being asked to use and critique a coconut balsamic vinegar. I know vinegar, particularly balsamic, sounds like a crazy ingredient for a chocolate cake, but it’s amazing – try it, and thank me later.
This week I’m posting about about QUINOA STUFFED EGGPLANT, which also calls for vinegar. It’s an easy recipe, and excellent to add to your repertoire for when your friends come calling with bags of eggplant from their garden.
NOTE: You can substitute rice or sorghum for the quinoa.
QUINOA STUFFED EGGPLANT
- 1 large eggplant, or 2-3 smaller ones
- 1 T olive oil
- 1/2 c quinoa, raw
- 1 cup onions, chopped
- 3 garlic, pressed
- 1 T fresh basil, chopped
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1 lb Roma tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup hard cheese (such as Parmesan, Romano, or Pecorino-Romano), grated
- 2 T pine nuts, toasted
- 2 tsp red wine vinegar
- 2 T parsley, chopped
Slice eggplant in half lengthwise. Score each half by making slashes diagonally through pulp, half an inch apart. Do the same going the opposite way. MAKE SURE YOU DON’T CUT THROUGH THE SKIN! Brush a liberal amount of olive oil on cut sides, then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and place the eggplant cut side down. Bake on lowest rack at 400º for 40-50 minutes, until softened. Drain by laying the eggplant cut side down, on a terry cloth towel that’s topped with a couple of layers of paper towels.
Cook quinoa according to package directions.
Sauté onion in the 1 T olive oil. Add garlic, basil, cinnamon, cayenne, and 1/2 tsp salt. Cook 30 seconds only, then stir in cooked quinoa, tomatoes, 3/4 cup cheese, pine nuts, and vinegar.
Turn eggplant cut side up, and smash down pulp with a spoon to make eggplant into a bowl. Divide the quinoa filling between the eggplant halves, compacting and mounding it.
Top with remaining cheese and return eggplant to parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake at 400º in the upper third of oven for 5-10 minutes, until cheese browns.
Sprinkle on fresh basil and serve.