The weather this week has made it so hard to focus on work! Who wants to be sat at a computer when it’s gloriously sunny outside? Instead, I’ve just been sitting in the sunshine, reading and drinking cocktails… not that I’m complaining about this, but I do feel a little bad about neglecting to do any work.
Anyway, today the clouds have returned, and so have I, with an easy and ridiculously yummy aubergine recipe – caprese stuffed aubergines!
I’m obsessed with the flavours of a caprese salad (tomatoes, mozzarella, basil) – it’s a classic combination that works in all sorts of ways. This time I thought I’d make an easy vegetarian dinner (one that would definitely have been included in last week’s post if I’d been more organised) by stuffing my caprese into a big veggie boat. I think aubergines are one of the easiest vegetables to make into a full meal because they’re so meaty (there’s a word that vegetarians use all the time without really understanding it…), so they were the obvious choice for stuffing.
The aubergines need a little bit of roasting to begin with, then you just scoop a bit of the flesh out of the middle so you’ve got a boat shape that’s easy to stuff (I didn’t trust myself to balance it all on top). You can discard the flesh you scoop out (the very centre is often full of seeds anyway), or keep it to use for something else (like baba ghanoush, if you’ve got enough of it!). Once you’ve piled on your caprese toppings, stick it all back in the oven to get all melty.
The combination is pretty wonderful, if I do say so myself. The aubergine gets nice and soft and juicy as it roasts, the cherry tomatoes become sweet and sticky, and the mozzarella is gooey in some places, and chewy in others. Don’t forget to sprinkle over more chopped basil before serving.
I also tried a version that I sprinkled with panko breadcrumbs before baking. It was just as yummy as the un-pankoed version, but probably not more tasty, so I don’t think I’ll bother with those next time.
What’s your favourite thing to stuff aubergines with?
- 1 aubergine
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 70 g fresh mozzarella, diced (~1/3 cup)
- ~ 8 cherry tomatoes, halved
- Small bunch fresh basil, roughly chopped
- Black pepper
- 4 tsp panko breadcrumbs (optional)
Heat the oven to 190°C (Gas Mark 5 / 375°F).
Halve the aubergine lengthwise, and drizzle the cut sides lightly with olive oil. Bake for around 30 minutes, until fairly soft.
When the aubergine is soft, allow it to cool a little, then scoop out a small amount of each half to create a boat shape. Stuff the aubergines with the diced mozzarella, halved cherry tomatoes, and chopped basil. Top with some black pepper and the breadcrumbs, if using. Return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until cooked to your liking.
Note: nutritional information is approximate, and will depend on exactly what ingredients you choose. Information above does not include optional breadcrumbs.