This recipe is a bit different to your usual stuffed eggplant recipes, which are usually based around tomato and cheese, and bound with breadcrumbs and egg. The contents of this are much looser, but it’s tasty, fresh, and not difficult to make.
Okra is probably not a vegetable many people like or are familiar with, but when I learnt about it’s healing properties for the digestive system (that gooeyness that grosses people out is very good for you) I endeavoured to come up with a way to make it more palatable. Roasting did the trick for me. It’s got a different texture than you’d be used to but I really enjoyed it. Go on, be brave, give it a try!
While baking potatoes whole takes time, I think it’s worth it because all you have to do is put it in the oven and let it do it’s thing, leaving you free to make the rest of dinner, and the end result is always scrumptious. I like to cut a cross into the top of the potato once it’s cooked, give it a quick squeeze and then put a teaspoon of butter in the top where let it melt down into the fluffy insides. So good.
- Stuffed eggplant
- 1 large eggplant
- 1 brown onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tbsp thyme leaves
- ¼ fennel bulb, or 1 tsp fennel seeds if fresh fennel is out of season
- 1-2 button or swiss brown mushrooms, diced.
- Small handful flat leaf parsley
- 1 tray okra
- 2 small potatoes
- Pinch dried chilli
Preheat the oven to 180°C
Scrub the potatoes them wrap up in foil with a small knob of butter and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Place in the oven, you can put them directly onto the oven racks. These take at least an hour, preferably an hour and a half. Have a bit of a break before you start of the rest of the meal.
Trim the stalk off the top of the eggplant then halve it lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh from the inside (keep this), leaving approximately 1cm of a shell.
Place the eggplants in a tray, skin side up and drizzle with olive oil and crack on some pepper. Place in the oven while you’re preparing the stuffing.
Heat a frying pan on medium heat, and add some olive oil, butter, ghee or coconut oil. Add the onion and fennel and cook until it starts to soften. Crush in the garlic and continue to stir for another minute.
Dice up the flesh from inside the eggplant and add to the pan along with the mushroom. Cook for another 2 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
Take the eggplant shells out of the oven, turn them over then spoon in the stuffing. Place back into the oven and cook until the eggplant shell is cooked through and the top of the stuffing looks like it is starting to turn crispy, about 20-30 minutes.
Trim the ends off the okra and place into a baking tray. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper and dried chilli flakes. Place into the oven and cook until they start to turn golden, about 20 minutes.
Place everything onto a plate to serve, sprinkle over the parsley leaves, and enjoy!
So were you brave and gave okra a try? I’m keen to hear how you went!