I’m not sure when exactly it happened, but orzo has become a staple in my kitchen. And lately I’ve been loving various combinations of orzo, kalamata olives, feta, tomatoes, spinach, artichokes, etc. So when I sat at my desk daydreaming about what to make for “Meatless Monday” tonight I knew it was going to involve something that I could stuff with orzo goodness and Mediterranean flavors. Enter: eggplant.
I chuckle a little any time I whip up eggplant anything because as a kid eating eggplant was my nightmare. I HATED it. Trying to eat it, I would gag and everything. Fast forward 20 years later and it’s one of my favorite foods!
Last week’s “Meatless Monday” recipe was also dedicated to eggplant so I promise next week I’ll step away from the purple fruit. But I’m happy to say that this week’s dish was a great success!
Mediterranean-Style Stuffed Eggplant
- 1 cup orzo
- 2 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 roma tomatos, diced
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper for seasoning
- 2 medium eggplants
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Prepare the orzo according to the directions on the box. Drain and dump in a large bowl.
- Add the tomato, olives, pine nuts, basil, and olive oil to the large bowl. Season with about 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper. Stir to combine.
- To create your eggplant “boats”, slice the eggplants in half, lengthwise. With a small knife, cut around the edge of the interior of the eggplants leaving about a 1/2 inch rim; make sure not to cut all the way through. Using a spoon (or your hands), gently remove the meat of the eggplant. You can either slice it up into small chunks and add it to the bowl with the orzo mixture or simply discard it.
- Place the hollowed out eggplant halves (your “boats”) onto a cookie sheet. Drizzle the eggplants with some olive oil and season with about 1-2 teaspoons of salt and 1/4 tsp pepper.
- Spoon the orzo mixture into each eggplant “boat” and lightly press to pack it in.
- Cover the eggplants lightly with some aluminum foil. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes until the eggplants are tender. Enjoy!
(Is that a paper plate? You’d better believe it. It’s Monday, my friends. Ain’t nobody got time for dishes!)