Stuffed and Baked Eggplants

, from Issue #12. September, 2015
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Stuffed and Baked Eggplants

Well known American cook Joanne Weir taught this dish some years ago at the Epicurean Cookschool.

Serves: 6


3 large, fat Japanese eggplants
7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
3 onions, chopped
4 cloves garlic, crushed
1 x 400 gram tin Italian tomatoes
1 cup chopped flat leaf parsley
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ cup currants
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1 teaspoon cinnamon
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
1 teaspoon honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tomato, sliced
chopped flat leaf parsley


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large sauté pan and cook the onions over a gentle heat until very soft, stirring occasionally. Chop the tomatoes and add along with their juice, the garlic, parsley and oregano. Simmer until almost dry, about 10 minutes. Stir through the currants, allspice and cinnamon.

Preheat the oven to 180°C.

Carefully scrape off the sharp thorns on each stem of the eggplant. Cut them in half lengthways and make three long incisions in each half but not cutting all the way through.

Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a sauté pan over a medium heat and cook the eggplant on all sides until the cut side is golden brown and cooked through. Scoop out the flesh with a teaspoon, leaving the skin and ½ cm of flesh intact. Finely chop the flesh and add to the tomato and onion mixture, mix well and season to taste.

Place the eggplant shells in a baking dish and fill with the tomato and onion stuffing. Pour 1 cup of water into the bottom of the dish. Combine the honey, lemon juice and the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Drizzle evenly over each eggplant. Top each one with sliced tomato. Cover and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and bake for an additional 10 minutes, adding more water if necessary.

To serve: Transfer to a platter, drizzle the pan juices over and sprinkle with the flat leaf parsley. Serve warm or at room temperature.