Thursday, February 15, 2007

Valentine's Eggplant for 2

Well, I decided on making a cute little dish for Valentine's (even though I made it on the 15th... hehehe). This recipe is great if you fancy the essence of the Mediterranean. My parents thought it was great, I ate some and found it delicious as well. My sisters steered clear of it and stuck with their favorite... meat lasagna. Something about eggplant seems to turn them off, how sad :(

Just a quick note: the following pomodoro recipe can be doubled or tripled and is amazing with pasta. It's much more fresh than regular tomato paste and has fewer preservatives.

Eggplant for 2

-1 medium eggplant
-1/2 large onion, chopped
-oil for frying
-Homemade pomodoro sauce (recipe follows)
-1/2 of a 14oz. can of tuna, flaked
-1 tsp brown sugar
-ground pepper and dried parsley to taste
-1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

Ingredients for Pomodoro Sauce:
-1 clove garlic, diced
-1 large tomato
-1/2 tsp dried basil
-1/2 tsp chopped fresh cilantro

1. Cut the eggplant in half, lengthways. Using a spoon, carefully remove the inside flesh, leaving a 1/2-inch layer of raw eggplant in the shell.

2. Chop the eggplant flesh roughly, add chopped onions and set aside.

3. Make the pomodoro sauce by first coring the tomato. Place the tomato in a pot of boiling water for about 30 seconds. Drain and peel off the skin of the tomato. Chop tomato roughly and remove the seeds.

4. Place the tomato and diced garlic in a non-stick frying pan, cook over medium heat. Add salt, basil and fresh cilantro; continue cooking tomato mixture until tender and juicy.

5. Place tomato mixture in a blender/food processor and pulse until it makes a non-lumpy sauce.

6. Now fry eggplant + onion mixture with oil in non-stick frying pan on medium heat. Cover with a lid and let simmer for 10 minutes, until soft and golden.

7. Add pomodoro sauce, brown sugar, parsley and ground pepper. Cook uncovered for 10 minutes. Then add flaked tuna.

8. Arrange the eggplant halves side by side in a casserole dish and divide the mixture between them. Cover generously with mozzarella.

9. Tent dish with aluminum foil. Cook for 10 minutes at 350°F, then lower heat to 325°F for 10 minutes or until eggplant feels tender when pierced with a fork.

10. If you wish for the cheese to be nicely browned, place in broiler for 2 minutes.

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