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Stuffed Eggplant with Fresh Peas & Smoked Mozzarella

Stuffed Eggplant with Fresh Peas & Smoked Mozzarella
Serves 8
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.
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Ingredients
  1. 4 small Italian eggplants (about 1½ pounds total)
  2. ¼ cup fresh bread crumbs (or panko)
  3. 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  4. 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus more for serving
  5. 1 garlic clove, minced
  6. Kosher salt, to taste
  7. Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  8. 1 cup cooked long-grain white rice
  9. ½ cup fresh peas (or thawed frozen)
  10. 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  11. ¼ cup chopped fresh mint, plus more for serving
  12. 8 ounces smoked mozzarella, coarsely grated
Instructions
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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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