Brinjal (Eggplant, Aubergine), is diverse in its culinary use as it is in its names, appearance and colours. This most often, deep purple ‘berry by botanical definition’, is a part of the nightshade plant family Solanaceae. Its fleshy fruit easily absorb oils and flavors making it the ideal canvas for making stuffed versions, fried or layered like in Mousakka. Brinjal curry was the first curry I ever cooked, when I was nine years old. Since then I have learnt a few good tricks for preparing them, like this stuffed feta, mint and tomato aubergine, baked in the oven. It is perfect as a light lunch or dinner.
What Is Stuffed Aubergine?
Stuffed aubergine is when aubergine is cut then filled with various fillings. It may include the flesh of the fruit which was removed but it is not a necessity. Common fillings for stuffed aubergine include stuffed lamb mince and feta,or pine nuts, mushroom and spinach, or mozzarella cheese, tomato and basil.
How to Prepare Stuffed Aubergine
Its spongy texture makes it very versatile but it is also very moist and stores a lot of water. The best way to drain the excess water before baking is to coat eggplant in salt, set aside for a few minutes then pat dry before cooking.
Aubergine can be eaten with the peel and is especially ideal when baking as it keeps the shape intact since the inner core of the aubergine tends to be rather soft when cooked.
There are several ways to make stuffed aubergine; one method is to cut in half then slice into squares by cutting in two directions, a centimeter or two without cutting through to the skin. Then scrape out the flesh or the abuergine and stuff with fillings of choice.
The second is a more aesthetically pleasing method which I came across on Pinterest by chefkoch.de. Here the aubergines were sliced either horizontally or vertically then filled. Much like hasselback potatoes.This was the inspiration for my Mint and Feta stuffed aubergine, sliced, stuffed aubergine.
How to Make Mint and Feta Stuffed Aubergine
To make this recipe I sliced the aubergine evenly.To remove excess water I coat the aubergine with salt.
To make the stuffing, pat the aubergine dry with a paper towel then brush with an olive oil mint and garlic dressing. Fill the slices with toppings of your choice. I made two variations, one with bacon (Chorizo sausage works just as well) and one with mint, feta and tomatoes, then baked in the oven for 40 minutes.
What To Serve With Stuffed Aubergine
Stuffed aubergine goes well with a green salad, with flatbread, or best of all with hummus. It can also be served as a vegetable side for roast lamb.
Stuffed Aubergine Recipe