Stuffed Eggplant with Fresh Peas and 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.
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.
Photography by John Gruen & Jason Houston