Grilled Eggplant Stuffed with Bulgur, Feta and Pine Nuts
Here, tender baby eggplant is stuffed with bulgur salad for an easy meal that is also elegant enough for an alfresco dinner party. Look for vegetables with shiny purple skin that are only 6 to 8 inches (15 to 20 cm) in length; you can find them at many farmers’ markets, Asian groceries and supermarkets. Serve this dish warm or at room temperature with warm flatbread and marinated olives.
- 4 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups (7 1/2 oz./215 g) finely chopped yellow onion
- 2 tsp. finely chopped garlic
- 2 tsp. ground coriander
- 1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
- 2 cups (16 fl. oz./500 ml) vegetable broth
- 1 cup (6 oz./185 g) bulgur
- 1 cup (6 oz./185 g) chopped fresh tomato
- 1/3 cup (1 2/3 oz./45 g) toasted pine nuts
- 3 Tbs. chopped fresh mint leaves
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 4 baby Mediterranean-style eggplant, halved lengthwise (about 2 lb./1 kg total)
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) creamy feta or goat cheese
Prepare a medium-hot fire in a grill.
In a large sauté pan over medium heat, warm 1 1/2 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the onion and sauté until golden brown, 6 minutes. Add the garlic, coriander and cinnamon and sauté until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the broth and bulgur and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low, cover and cook until the broth has been absorbed, about 10 minutes. Transfer the bulgur to a bowl and stir in the tomato, pine nuts and mint. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
Use a paring knife to score the cut side of the eggplant with 1-inch (2.5-cm) deep crosshatching. Brush the eggplant all over with the remaining 3 Tbs. oil and season with salt and pepper. Grill the eggplant, cut side down and with the grill covered, until it is tender when a fork is inserted in the flesh, about 7 minutes per side.
Using a sharp knife, make a lengthwise slit in the cut side of each eggplant half.
Stuff the bulgur mixture into the eggplant centers, diving it evenly, and sprinkle with the cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature. Serves 4.
Adapted from Williams-Sonoma Weeknight Vegetarian, by Ivy Manning (Weldon Owen, 2013)