Union Square Cafe: Roast Stuffed Eggplant with Tomato Sauce

by Joanne on November 24, 2013

usc_cookbook

“Union Square Cafe serves some of the most imaginative, interesting, and tasty food in America. Now its devoted fans from down the block and across the globe can savor the restaurant’s marvelous dishes, trademark hospitality, and warm decor at home. By Danny Meyer and Michael Romano” Source: Union Square

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The recipe for Roast Stuffed Eggplant with Tomato Sauce is in the Appetizer section of the book.  To us, it was a whole meal.  I added, instead of the anchovies listed below, vegetarian ground sausage. 

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Serves 4

  • 6 Baby eggplant (I used 2 large)
  • 3 TBS olive oil
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 4 oz leeks, white and light green parts, washed and cut into 1/8” rounds.
  • 5 oz shiitake mushrooms, stemmed and sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, roasted, peeled and sliced into thin strips (I simply chopped an UNroasted pepper, small chop)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, roasted, peeled and sliced into strips (same as above, I used unroasted and chopped small)
  • 2 anchovy fillets, minced –optional (I used a package of VEGETARIAN sausage mix)
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • pinch red pepper
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan-Reggiano cheese
  • 2 cups tomato coulis ( For this, I simply put 1 pint of small chop cherry tomatoes into a saucepan  with 3 TBS olive oil, salt and pepper.  Brought to a boil, reduced to a simmer and let cook down for about 20 minutes).

Preheat oven to 350 F.

Rub eggplants with 1 TBS olive oil and roast on a cookie sheet for 45 minutes to one hour if using the small eggplants. If using the larger eggplant, you will need to roast about one hour to 1 hr 20 minutes – until soft.   Allow to cool then slice lengthwise. Remove flesh to a bowl but don’t tear the skin. Reserve 1/2 of the skins. Coarsely chop the flesh. Set aside.

Heat a 2 qt. oven proof skillet with the rest of the oil. Add the leeks and cook until wilted, about 3 minutes *If using un-cooked bell peppers, add those with the leeks and allow all to cook about 10 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook one more minute. 

Add the shiitake mushrooms, cook 3 more minutes. If using anchovies, add them and the chopped eggplant. Season with salt, red pepper, black pepper.  *If adding VEGETARIAN SAUSAGE, remove to eggplant mix to a bowl and cook the “meat”.   If NOT using “meat”, simply place content of skillet, covered, into the oven for 20 – 30 minutes.    *After VEGETARIAN SAUSAGE has browned, add everything back to the skillet and stir.  Cover and place into oven for 20 – 30 minutes. 

Remove eggplant stuffing from oven and stir in half the cheese.  When cool enough to handle, fill eggplant skins.

Preheat the broiler. Sprinkle the stuffed eggplant with remaining cheese and brown under broiler. Transfer to serving platter, top with tomato coulis. 

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What a meal!

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Ted enjoyed his as a side dish with pork chops.  In the book, they suggest the eggplant stuffing as an accompaniment for roast chicken, lamb, or veal.  For me, the addition of vegetarian sausage made it an entire, healthy main dish.

It’s time to start thinking about that Thanksgiving  meal and having something for everyone… hmmmm… other than the turkey, it’s up in the air.

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1 Comment

  • At 2013.11.25 17:55, Choc Chip Uru said:

    Love your vegetarian twist to this dish, it looks hearty without being unhealthy or overdone. AndI am a sucker for roasted eggplant any day 😀

    Cheers
    CCU

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