This recipe was inspired by a bunch of small eggplants I received in my Purple Dragon Co-op share a few weeks ago. I wanted to something different than the usual grilled eggplant or pasta dishes, so I decided to hollow out the veggies and fill them with a meaty lentil mixture. This recipe will work with larger eggplant as well - just use 2 of them rather than 4.
- 4 small eggplants
- 3 teaspoons olive
- oil, divided
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt, divided
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 small red bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium carrot, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup cooked lentils
- ½ cup vegetable broth
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ teaspoon all-purpose season mix (I used Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line to baking sheets with parchment paper.
- Carefully scoop the flesh out of the eggplant, leaving about ½” intact around the skin. Chop the eggplant flesh into small pieces, about 1/4”. You won’t be able to salvage all of the eggplant flesh, but that’s okay.
- Lightly brush the eggplant shells with 1 teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle with about ¼ teaspoon of salt. Place them face down on one of the parchment paper lined baking sheets.
- Toss the eggplant cubes in 1 teaspoon of olive oil, and sprinkle with about ¼ teaspoon of salt. Place them on the other baking sheet.
- Place both baking sheets in the oven and bake for 15 minutes, until tender. Remove from oven and set aside. Keep the oven on, but turn the heat down to 350 degrees.
- Heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a large pan over medium high heat. Cook the onion, bell pepper, carrot and garlic for about 10 minutes, until soft.
- Add the lentils, eggplant cubes, broth, vinegar, black pepper, all-purpose seasoning and remaining ¼ of salt to the pan. Reduce the heat to simmer and cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
- Flip the eggplant shells on the baking sheet and stuff the with the eggplant-lentil mixture. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes.
Serve and enjoy!