by Francesca Patterson
If we had superlative awards for the vegetables we carry at the market, then the Fairytale Eggplants would easily take the crown for most charming. Not only is this an eggplant with beautiful streaks of white and deep purple, but it is also about a quarter of the size of your traditional eggplant. They are small enough to fit about three in the palm of your hand. So often, I hear small children asking their parents for these simply because they are cute.
This little eggplant carries the same taste as larger versions, however, it’s size allows you to have more creative liberty. These are great for grilling and present so well at a large dinner table because they are a single serving each. The eggplant “meat” inside also becomes tender and flavorful very quickly with these mini vegetables. This recipe preserves the delicate flavor of eggplant while enhancing it with just a few others. If you avoid the parmesan cheese, this is also an excellent option for vegans or plant-based eaters, since it is a hearty side dish. These stuffed eggplants taste great as cold leftovers for the next day’s lunch as well.
- Fairytale eggplants
- 1/8 Onion (finely sliced)
- 2 Basil leaves
- 1/4 Tomato (peeled and chopped)
- Olive oil
- 1 Egg
- 1 Tbsp bread crumbs
- 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
- Cut the eggplants in half. With a spoon, gently scoop out the inside meat of the eggplants, being careful not to tear the skin. Save the eggplant meat in a bowl. Sprinkle salt on the inside of the scooped-out eggplants and let them sit for about 20 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a pan, begin sauteing the onions on medium-low with about two tbsp of olive oil.
- Place the eggplant meat and basil leaves and tomato in a food processor until finely chopped, or chop these very finely by hand. Add this mixture to the onions and cook for about 5 minutes.
- In a medium-sized bowl, combine the eggplant mixture with bread crumbs, egg, a little more salt, and parmesan cheese. Mix together completely.
- Spoon this into the scooped-out eggplants. Top the stuffed eggplants with a little more cheese and bake for about 20-25 minutes.