Smoky stuffed eggplants
This is a really great sharing dish—especially because you can prepare it way in advance and keep it in the fridge all day. Then it just needs a five-minute broil to cook through at the end. It is a wonderfully balanced dish in terms of its flavors, too, with warming spices, freshness from the lemon zest, and plant-based yogurt to cool things down.
SERVES 4 | Prep time: 15 minutes | Cooking time: 40 minutes
2 eggplants, halved lengthwise and flesh scored
3 garlic cloves, crushed
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
½ cup wild rice
1 medium onion, finely sliced
1 red chile, seeded and finely chopped
2 tsp smoked paprika
½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated (or from a jar in olive oil), chopped
1 tsp harissa
zest and juice of 1 lemon
a bunch of parsley, chopped
1¼ cups walnuts, chopped
breadcrumbs from 2 slices of bread (blitz them in a blender)
¼ cup plus 3 tbsp plant-based plain yogurt
a bunch of fresh mint, chopped
1 fresh chile, chopped
a pinch of sea salt
mixed green salad leaves
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread the scored surface of the eggplants with half of the garlic and drizzle with a little olive oil. Season really well with salt and pepper. Put them on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for 30 minutes, then set aside.
While the eggplants are in the oven, put the rice in a saucepan with 1 quart cold water and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, then decrease the heat. With the lid on, cook for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside.
Heat a glug of olive oil in a saucepan and cook the onion, chile, and the rest of the garlic for 5 minutes, until soft. Stir in the paprika and cook for another minute. Add the sun-dried tomatoes, harissa, lemon zest and juice, parsley, walnuts, and cooked rice and give it a really good mix.
Scoop the flesh from the eggplants, being careful not to break the skin. Add the eggplant flesh to the rice and give it another good mix. Now you need to stuff the eggplant skins with the rice mixture.
Preheat the broiler. Top the eggplants with the breadcrumbs and another drizzle of olive oil and broil for 5 minutes.
To serve, drizzle the plant-based yogurt over the top and sprinkle with the chopped mint and chile and some salt. Serve with the green salad.