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Stuffed Eggplants

Stuffed Eggplants

2 eggplants, aubergines
1 lg. or 2 small white onions, sliced thinly
1-2 mushrooms, chopped (optional)
About 1/4 - 1/2 cup of Greek olive oil
1-2 tomatoes, pulped and strained, or 1/2 can chopped tomatoes
Pinch of sugar and cinnamon
1-2 garlic cloves, finely diced or pressed
2-3 T. finely chopped parsley
2 T. breadcrumbs
1 tsp. Greek oregano
Salt and pepper

Wash eggplants well and slice evenly down middle, but not breaking through the base skin. If using medium - large eggplants, score or slice again on both sides of the middle, creating 1/2" - 1" thick slices of eggplant.

Sprinkle salt inside each side of the eggplants, and turn over and let drain for half an hour/ or soak in a salt water bath. The salt releases the bitter juices from the eggplant and will make the taste much better, do not skip this step.  

Preheat oven to 350° F. (180° C.).

Rinse the eggplant with fresh water, drizzle the insides generously with oil, then place the eggplants under the broiler and cook until soft, about 20-25 minutes.

Remove until cool enough to handle, then remove the eggplant flesh leaving a boat-like holder. Chop the eggplant flesh and set aside.

If needed, re-oil the insides of the eggplants and place again under the broiler.

Heat  enough olive oil in a large pan to saute the sliced onions until translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Add the chopped eggplant flesh and tomatoes with the pinches of sugar and cinnamon; cook until everything is tender and incorporated, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic, parsley, oregano, salt, pepper and simmer for another 5 minutes.

Then, remove pan from heat and allow mixture to cool slightly.

Place the eggplant "shoes" into a baking dish lightly oiled. Carefully fill each eggplant "shoe" with a generous portion of the mixture, being careful not to tear the eggplant skins. Once the eggplants have been filled, pour any remaining oil from the frying pan over everything, and add a little hot water to the dish (1/4 - 1/2 cup). Sprinkle some breadcrumbs on top of each stuffed eggplant and place pan in the oven and bake for 30-45 minutes, or until very, very tender.                                               

Best served warm or room temperature with feta cheese or tzatziki.

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