I bought for the first time – of course also from the farmers market – white eggplants (aubergines).
I was intrigued by their taste which proved to be a tab more sweet than their purple cousins, and also by their looks. So I decided to stuff them in a vegetarian recipe, inspired a bit by Eggplant Parmesan, throwing in some fusilli pasta for looks – although the green fusillis turned out to be quite hot and spicy – and some Gorgonzola for its spicy kick. And I replaced the Parmesan cheese with Pecorino Romano.
Ingredients (2 persons):
2 medium (white) eggplants
a handful of hazelnuts
2-3 tablespoons of butter
2-3 tablespoons tomato cubes (canned)
a few basil leaves
100 g fusilli tricolori pasta (3 coloured)
75 g Gorgonzola cheese (or other soft blue cheese)
Wash the aubergines and cut them in half.
With the help of a tablespoon scoop out their fleshy inside and chop them roughly.
Clean the hazelnuts of their shelves and crush them.
Melt half of the butter in a saucepan and fry for about a minute the hazelnuts.
Add the other half of butter, the chopped aubergine kernels and the tomato cubes. Salt and pepper to taste.
Stir-fry for about 5 minutes until golden and add chopped basil.
Meanwhile cook the fusilli pasta underdone, because they will cook a bit more in the oven.
Arrange some spinach leaves in the hollowed aubergine halves.
Scoop over some of the pan-fried mixture then lay a handful of fusilli pasta.
Smear over each aubergine some Gorgonzola cheese then grate some Pecorino Romano or other pungent hard cheese like Parmigiano, etc.
Put the stuffed aubergines in an ovenproof dish and place it in a preheated oven (200 C) for about 15 minutes until the cheeses just melted and bubbly.
Serve them hot from the oven garnished with some spinach leaves, the remaining fusilli pasta and a spoonful of tomato cubes.
Into a non-stick pan add 2 tablespoons of oil. After the oil is hot add the chickpeas, salt and pepper and leave until chickpeas turn into a golden colour. Add some water, the tomato juice, coriander seeds, garlic cloves, parsley. Cook until chickpeas are cooked.
Meanwhile, cut the zucchini, eggplant, red pepper and tomatoes into medium pieces. Cut in small pieces the white part of the green onions.
Preheat the oven to 180oC/ 350oF.
Coat with oil an ovenproof tray. Add the vegetables, some oil, salt and pepper (Optional – you can add pieces of ham).
Place in oven for 20 minutes.
Pull out the tray and add the chickpeas with tomato sauce and the green part of onions, chopped.
Place it back in the oven for another 15 minutes.
Optional: when is ready, add slices of cheese on top, and leave in oven for 1 minute.