Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant with Balsamic Reduction

I have a confession to make.  It’s a big one.  You ready?

I’m not good at reading recipes.

Sure, this blog is called Cardigan-Clad Culinary, but that doesn’t make me a pro at following instructions.  Because I’m not.

As such, many of my favorite recipes are the product of three things: a recipe, what I have on hand, and what I feel like doing in the kitchen.  I end up with frankenrecipes that are often dramatically different than those I started out with.  And you know what?  They’re delicious.

eggplant closeup

Today’s recipe is based on In Sock Monkey Slippers’ Israeli Couscous Stuffed Eggplant recipe.  First, I was going to make it exactly the same.  Then I was going to swap in quinoa for couscous.  Then I didn’t want to buy pine nuts.  Then I fell in love with caramelizing onions.  So now, I have a frankenrecipe that I am comfortable calling my own.

The caramelized onions here are a labor of love and completely worth your time.  I caramelized mine the day-of, but you could also make a bunch at once and freeze them.  That’s up to you.

These are delicious served alongside bread, which I can totally justify since I omitted the grains entirely.  I paired my stuffed eggplant with olive ciabatta from Trader’s Joe’s, and I highly recommend doing the same.

Don’t have/want to buy some of the ingredients?  No sweat.  Make your own frankenrecipe and let me know how it goes!  Maybe I’ll adapt it an end up with a whole new idea.

plate view

Mediterranean Stuffed Eggplant with Balsamic Reduction

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet onion
  • 2 tablespoons Brummel and Brown
  • 1 eggplant
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 small can olives — or go for kalamatas if you’re feeling fancy
  • 1/4 cup feta cheese
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary

Directions

  1. Heat the fat of your choice over medium heat.  Slice your onions thinly and cook for an hour, stirring occasionally, until caramelized.  If things start to stick, add some water and stir up those brown bits.
  2. Once your onions have caramelized, cut your eggplant in half.  When I make this again, I’ll peel the eggplant since it’s kind of tough.  Then, you want to scoop out most of the insides of each half while leaving a sturdy eggplant boat.
  3. Cut up the insides of the eggplant as well as your tomato and mix them into the pan with the caramelized onions.  Add in the olives and feta cheese.
  4. Place your eggplant boats in a baking dish and fill the boats with your onion mixture.  Bake at 350 for 20-30 minutes, or until your eggplant is soft and has started to dry out.
  5. While it’s baking, make your reduction.  I followed these instructions from The Nourishing Gourmet.
  6. Once your eggplant is finished cooking, allow it to cool.  Wait until plating to drizzle reduction over top to avoid things getting soupy.  Serve with bread, and enjoy!

Nutrition

Serves 2 | 321 calories | 47 g carbohydrates | 12 g fiber | 7 g protein

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