Sometimes I find great recipes online or in my cookbooks, make a note to try them out, then can never find them again. That’s what happened with this one. I could picture the image of the eggplant dish I saw a few days prior, searched and searched, but couldn’t find again. This may have been a good thing because it forced me to use my own creativity to come up with the recipe.
I’ve never tried to stuff an eggplant this way, and it’s actually pretty funny looking, to be honest. It looks like the eggplant has it’s mouth full. Kind of pac-manesque. But I like that it’s a little different than the usual boat-shaped stuffed eggplant, sliced the long way. You can use this technique to stuff the eggplant with anything you want. Give it an Indian or Mexican slant by changing the spices, fillings, and sauces. Be creative!
Stuffed Eggplant with Ras El Hanout and Tahini Sauce
1 medium eggplant
2 tablespoons ras el hanout, divided
1 tablespoon neutral oil: canola, sunflower, peanut, etc.
1 onion, chopped
1 lb crimini or button mushrooms, sliced
½ lb spinach, washed
1 tsp dried mint
1 bunch parlsey, chopped
2 tablespoons tahini
1 tablespoon lemon juice
salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 400°. Line a baking pan with parchment paper.
- Slice top and bottom off of eggplant and cut in half, width-wise. Cut each piece almost in half width-wise so there is room to stuff but it won’t come apart.
- Spread 1 tablespoon ras el hanout and a sprinkle salt on all cut sides of the eggplant, including in the middle where it is sliced. Place a pan on medium heat, add a tablespoon of oil, and sear the eggplant so it is golden brown on each side. Transfer to the baking pan and place in the oven for about 25 minutes or until soft inside.
- While eggplant is in the oven, in the same pan used for searing, sauté the onion with a little oil and a few pinches of salt for 5-10 minutes, on medium heat, until soft and just starting to brown. Add the mushrooms, mint, and 1 tablespoon of the ras el hanout and cook until most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated.
- Add the spinach and stir though. Cook a bit longer until the water from the spinach has been cooked out. Stir in the parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more salt as necessary.
- To make the tahini sauce, stir together the tahini and lemon juice. Add water, and teaspoon at a time, if it needs to be thinned out (some tahinis are thicker than others).
- Remove eggplant from oven and stuff with the mushroom mixture.
- Drizzle with the tahini sauce to serve.