Grill-roasted Stuffed Eggplant
Stuffed eggplants are common throughout south Louisiana. My favorite recipe is Eggplant Bayou Teche. I have made it on occasion, but never on a grill. As an experiment I decided to develop an original stuffed eggplant recipe designed for the grill. This recipe is heavy on meat and I love the flavor of Italian sausage. I make most recipes for two people so they can be easily doubled or quadrupled.
1 medium sized eggplant
1/4 cup water
1/2 pound bulk Italian sausage
1 small slice of bread
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup diced onion
1 clove garlic, pressed of minced
1/2 can diced tomatoes (14 ½ ounce), drained
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste
Grated mozzarella cheese for topping
Cut the eggplant in half through the stem. Place the halves cut side down in a baking dish with the water and microwave on high for 5 minutes.
When the eggplant is cool enough to handle, scoop out the pulp leaving a 1/4 inch thick shell.
Lightly salt the sausage and brown it in a skillet over medium heat. Remove the sausage to a paper towel to drain. Process the bread in a food processor to fine crumbs. Combine the breadcrumbs and oil in a small skillet and brown over medium heat. Drain the crumbs on a paper towel. Combine the sausage, breadcrumbs, tomato, oregano, and Parmesan cheese. Thoroughly blend and season to taste with salt and pepper. Stuff the eggplant shells with the mixture and top with grated mozzarella cheese.
The eggplant can be prepared ahead of time and refrigerated. Prepare the grill for medium hot indirect cooking. Grill the eggplant on indirect, lid closed, until the cheese begins to brown (approximately 10 to 15 minutes). If the eggplant were refrigerated the cooking time will be increased.