Stuffed Eggplant

Recipe courtesy of Mary Vassallo, Seaforth Branch

Serves: 4
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 1 ½ hours
5 serves per portion

2 small eggplants, halved lengthways
2 teaspoons olive oil
4 large onions, diced
500g lean pork mince
1 tomato, peeled and chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
Black pepper, to taste
3 eggs
½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
4 medium potatoes, peeled, cut into quarters
4 pieces pumpkin, diced
2 large tomatoes, diced
6 garlic cloves, crushed
Mix of fresh chopped herbs (parsley, mint, oregano, basil)
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 cup water
2 tablespoons tomato paste

PREHEAT oven to 200c
SCOOP out the flesh from each eggplant half, leaving a little around the inside to get a boat shape. Roughly chop the scooped flesh and set aside.
HEAT oil in a frypan over medium heat. Sauté half of the onions for 5 minutes until soft but not browned.
ADD the pork mince and stir for about 7 minutes or until mince has changed colour.
ADD chopped eggplant flesh, tomato, garlic and pepper, cooking until eggplant is soft. Switch off heat, add eggs and stir to combine. Leave to cool.
PLACE remaining onion, potatoes, pumpkin, tomatoes, garlic and herbs in a large baking dish. Drizzle with the oil and mix to coat.
MIX half the cheese with the mince mixture and stuff into the four eggplant pieces, placing each one in the prepared dish around the vegetables.
POUR the water down the sides and then spoon the tomato paste over vegetables and stuffed eggplant. Sprinkle remaining cheese over dish.
COVER dish with foil and bake in oven for around 1 hour, or until vegetables are tender. Remove foil 20 minutes before finishing and add more water if too dry.