Stuffed Eggplant Parm

PHOTO BY MICHAEL PIAZZA / STYLED BY CATRINE KELTY

SUBMITTED BY CHEF SUZI MAITLAND, TRINA’S STARLIGHT LOUNGE, SOMERVILLE
"I first created stuffed eggplant parm after hearing a friend talk about stuffing an eggplant for dinner. I love eggplant parm, so I decided to take the two dishes and make them one. We created this dish as one of our “blue plate specials” at Trina's Starlite Lounge and it has been a favorite ever since. If I'm looking for local eggplants for cooking at home I like to use Russo's in Watertown as it has great produce and is close to my home."

Serves 4

3 cups sourdough bread cubes
3 medium eggplants
3 cups shredded mozzarella
2 cups prepared tomato sauce (use your favorite jarred brand or your own homemade sauce)
¼ cup grated Parmigiano Reggiano
chopped basil, optional, for serving
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Spread the bread cubes on a sheet pan and cook in the oven until browned, about 8-10 minutes.

Meanwhile, cut 2 eggplants lengthwise and scoop out the insides, leaving ½ inch of flesh around the edge. Season the eggplant shells with salt and pepper. Cut the third eggplant and the removed eggplant flesh into cubes the same size as the sourdough and put into a bowl with the toasted bread, 2 cups of the mozzarella and the tomato sauce. Season with ½ teaspoon salt and some freshly ground black pepper.

Toss to combine ingredients together in the bowl, then stuff into the hollowed out eggplant shells. Top eggplants with the rest of mozzarella and the Parmigiano.

Place onto sheet pan and bake in the oven until cheese is melted and brown, and the internal temperature is 165°F. Serve hot, garnished with basil and more Parmigiano if you like.