Vegetarian Paella Stuffed EggplantFeb 16 2011 by
Port of call Spain and a wonderfully fragrant dish of paella. I know paella isn’t usually made stuffed in an eggplant but I like taking a classic and giving it a new look. This dish is so good smelling right from the start when the hot water hits the saffron and it just gets better from there. Buen Provecho!
- 2 eggplants
- 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil (from spain if you have it), divided
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 tsp saffron
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup short grain brown rice
- 2 cups vegetable stock
- 2 cups fresh baby spinach
- 1 cup chopped tomatoes
- 1 tsp smoked paprika (regular is ok too)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 cup frozen peas
- 1/4 cup Homemade Breadcrumbs (make sure to use gluten free bread when making your breadcrumbs for a gluten free dish)
- 1/4 cup shredded Manchego cheese (or parmesan) – optional
- 1 lemon, cut into wedges (optional garnish)
- Heat the oven to 35o degrees.
- Cut the tops off of the eggplants and slice in half lengthwise. Pierce the cut sides with the tip of a knife several times being careful not to cut the outer skin.
- Brush the cut sides with 1 tablespoon olive oil and lay cut side down on a baking sheet.
- Bake 20-25 minutes or until the eggplants are tender inside.
- Once cooled enough to handle, scoop out the insides and place the shells in an oven proof baking dish. Chop the insides into bite size pieces, discarding the seeds if you wish. Set aside.
- In a small saucepan or microwave safe bowl, bring the water to a boil. Remove from heat and add the saffron. Set aside.
- Warm the remaining 2 tbsp olive oil in a large skillet or pan over medium-high heat and add the onion and carrot. Saute 5 – 7 minutes, until the onions begin to soften and turn translucent.
- Add the garlic and saute a minute more.
- Add the rice, stirring to coat with oil.
- Add the spinach, chopped eggplant and tomatoes and cook 2-3 minutes until the spinach is wilted.
- Add the vegetable stock, saffron water, paprika and sea salt. Stir, reduce heat to a simmer, cover and cook for 20-30 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
- Stir in the peas, cover and continue to simmer for about 5 minutes more or until the rice is tender.
- Remove from the heat.
- Spoon the rice mixture equally into the eggplant shells.
- Mix together the breadcrumbs and cheese (if using). Divide equally over the stuffed eggplant shells.
- Bake in the oven 15-20 minutes or until the cheese has melted and turned slightly brown.
- To serve, place one eggplant half on a plate and garnish with a lemon wedge.
Makes 4 servings.
Serving size 1 stuffed eggplant.
Nutrients per serving: Calories: 448, Cal. from Fat: 133.5, Total Fat: 14.5g, Sat. Fat: 12.5g, Carbs: 71.5g, Fiber: 15.5g, Sugars: 10.5g, Protein: 13g, Sodium: 272.5mg, Chol: 0mg
This dish is best served right away. You can store the leftovers in the fridge for a day or two but make sure to reheat in the oven for best results.