Shrimp, Basil & Bacon Stuffed Eggplant with 2 Cheeses
My mom gave me one of her beautiful white eggplant. The first time she gave me one, my foodie sister was there and she looked at me and said, “the white ones are perfect for stuffing.” Ever since she said that, every white eggplant I meet seems to cry out to me to stuff it with all sorts of deliciousness.
One of my foodie friends suggested stuffing it with shrimp and bechamel sauce. I had fully intended to do that with this one, but I am feeling too lazy today to make a bechamel sauce. So I just did a quick sautee, swirled in some cheese and went with that. I didn’t have as much shrimp as I really wanted to use, but still it turned out lovely. Yes, a white wine bechamel sauce would be heavenly, with some freshly shredded parmesan and nutmeg. But not today.
Today is my lazy Sunday. And this was my lazy Sunday lunch. And it was beautiful and delicious, just like this.
If you’re wondering what those dark spots are, they are a couple basil flowers I tossed on just before I baked the eggplant. You might want to toss on the flowers (if you have them) AFTER you cook the stuffed eggplant. Just sayin’ …
Shrimp, Basil & Bacon Stuffed Eggplant with Swiss and Goat Cheese
- 1 eggplant, about 6 inches long (so once you scoop out the inside, you have about 1 1/2 cups of eggplant–if you have a larger or smaller eggplant, just adjust the other ingredients up or down)
- 1 t. olive oil
- 1/4 c. chopped onion
- 1/4 c. chopped bell pepper
- 2 – 3 cloves of garlic
- 1/2 – 1 cup of chopped shrimp (I only had 1/2 cup, but I really wanted more shrimp in this!)
- 2 – 3 slices of lower-fat bacon, fried crisp, drained and chopped
- 1 small tomato, chopped
- 1/2 c. shredded swiss cheese (Asiago, Romano or Parmesan would be nice mixed in as well)
- 1 oz. goat cheese
- 2 -3 T. of fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 2 -3 t. of fresh oregano leaves
- Shredded swiss or parmesan cheese and/or breadcrumbs
- Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and using a grapefruit spoon, scoop out the insides so you leave about 1/4 – 1/2 inch shell.
- It should look something like this when you’re done:
- Take the removed eggplant flesh and chop it up into small pieces.
- Heat a medium sized frying pan over medium high heat until it starts to warm. Spray lightly with cooking spray, then swirl around the olive oil in the heated pan. Add eggplant, onion, garlic, and bell pepper and sautee until the onions are soft and translucent.
- Add the shrimp, bacon, and tomato and sautee just about 3 minutes more.
- Remove from heat and stir in cheeses and herbs.
- Fill the scooped out eggplant shells with the lovely mixture you cooked up.
- Place the eggplant on a baking sheet and top with shredded cheese and/or breadcrumbs.
- Bake at 350 for 15 – 20 minutes or until the cheese is melted or the breadcrumbs are lightly browned.
- Serve hot, with fresh basil leaves for garnish (and the basil flowers, if you happen to have some!)
This beautiful dish goes so well with a nice glass of Chardonnay or Pinot Grigio.
By the way, stuffed eggplant are the perfect make-ahead convenience food! You can wrap them in plastic wrap or foil and freeze for later. When you need a quick meal, pull it out of the freezer, let it thaw for a while, then bake at 350 until it’s heated throughout. They microwave nicely, too, just make sure to cook them long enough to get the center good and hot.
This recipe was shared at Katherine Martinelli’s Eggplant Bloghop.