Stuffed Eggplant with Fresh Peas & Smoked Mozzarella
It’s important to cook the eggplants completely through before scooping out the flesh and filling the shells. You can do this step hours ahead if desired.
- 4 small Italian eggplants (about 1½ pounds total)
- ¼ cup fresh bread crumbs (or panko)
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more for serving
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- Kosher salt, to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup cooked long-grain white rice
- ½ cup fresh peas (or thawed frozen)
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, plus more for serving
- 8 ounces smoked mozzarella, coarsely grated
- In a large pot fitted with a steamer basket, bring 2 inches of salted water to a boil. Add the eggplants; cover and steam until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
- Cut the eggplants in half; scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4-inch border in the shells. Chop the cooked eggplant and transfer to a bowl.
- Combine the bread crumbs, egg, lemon zest, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Toss the eggplant with the bread crumb mixture and the rice, peas, lemon juice, mint, and 1 cup cheese; divide the mixture among the eggplant shells (heaping ¼ cup in each) and top with the remaining cheese.
- Arrange the stuffed eggplants on a large rimmed baking sheet. Broil until the cheese is browned, 5 to 8 minutes. (Alternatively, you can grill the eggplants over medium heat, covered, until the filling is set and the cheese is melted.) Sprinkle with lemon zest and mint leaves before serving.
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