Preparation of stuffed eggplant
Start with the stuffing. In a large bowl, mix the minced meat, bread crumbs, salt, pepper, egg, cheese powder and chopped garlic. Add the chopped fresh basil leaves and stir with gloved hands until everything is well mixed. Add the tomato sauce and stir again. Smoked cheese for later.
Cut the eggplants in half and then into thin slices, keeping the end of the stem taut to create a fan shape. Place the eggplant slices in a large baking dish. Salt each piece of eggplant and top with ground beef. Grated cheese on top. Repeat with the second layer of eggplant. Repeat with the remaining eggplants and arrange in a baking dish. Drizzle with olive oil to coat.
Cover with foil and bake until the eggplant is tender. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, mix the tomato sauce with the basil leaves and pour it over the eggplants in the baking dish. Cover and cook for 40 minutes, until meat is tender and cheese is melted. Sprinkle the grated smoked cheese over the cooked eggplant in a baking dish. Cook for another 5 minutes to allow the cheese to melt.
How to fill an eggplant
These aubergines are first cut into a fan shape. Then fill each layer of eggplant with a generous amount of beef filling and top with cheese. It is important to keep the stalk on the eggplant, it keeps the flaps in place.
Can you freeze stuffed aubergines?
Yes, you can freeze these stuffed eggplants. To do this, let the dish cool completely to room temperature. Then cover the dish tightly with several layers of plastic wrap and aluminum foil, or place the eggplant in an airtight container. Freeze for three months.
To thaw the dish, let it thaw overnight in the refrigerator. Then place them in an oven dish and heat in a hot oven until the cheese is nicely melted and bubbly again.
What to serve with stuffed eggplant
This is a Mediterranean-style recipe, so it goes well with other local dishes. A fresh Greek salad with ripe tomatoes and cucumbers is a nice and refreshing complement to the cheese in this meat dish. You can also serve a crunchy grain bouleh salad with plenty of parsley and seeds for a healthy side dish.
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Put the ground meat in a bowl.
Add bread crumbs and egg, salt, pepper and cheese. Grate the garlic, finely chop the basil and parsley and add to the mixture. Shuffle.
Add two tablespoons of tomato sauce and stir again.
Cut the eggplant in half. Cut long slices from this half without cutting into the top. The aubergines should remain in a fan shape. Sprinkle each piece with salt and pepper.
Place a layer of minced meat mixture on each eggplant slice and add grated smoked cheese. Repeat with the second half of the eggplant.
Put the olive oil in an oven dish and place the aubergines on top. Add more oil to the eggplant. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 180ºC for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, put the tomato sauce in a bowl, add the basil, salt and pepper and stir.
Pour the sauce over the aubergines and bake again at 180ºC for 40 minutes.
Add the grated cheese to the eggplant.
Bake for 5 minutes at 180ºC.
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