Stuffed Graffiti Eggplant
I’ll be honest, and admit that I bought these because they were called graffiti eggplant, there was nothing more to it than that. What can I say? I’m a sucker for cool looking vegetables. For some reason I came up with the idea to stuff them, and it was a good one. I was originally going to roast the eggplants in the oven, but I think the steaming method I eventually chose preserved the peels much better for stuffing.
2 graffiti eggplants, halved the long way
1 large bunch swiss chard, sliced
3 celery stalks, sliced
1 teaspoons five spice powder
1 cup rice
2 cups water
3 cloves Asian Marinated Garlic, minced
1 tablespoon roasted red chili paste (I use the Thai Kitchen variety)
2 tablespoons peanut oil
1 stalk crushed lemongrass
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 scallion, sliced
Gomasio (sesame seed-salt seasoning)
1. Set a steamer over boiling water (if you use a bamboo one like me) and place the four eggplant halves, flesh down into it. Allow to cook for 15 minutes.
2. While the eggplant is steaming, heat a large skillet, and add the peanut oil, garlic, lemongrass, five spice powder, and roasted red pepper paste. Stir around and once the garlic is starting to turn golden, add the swiss chard (including stems) and celery. Stir around for 30 seconds to coat, and then add soy sauce and lime juice. Cover and low heat to simmer for approx. 5 minutes.
3. In the meantime make the rice, I did a cups worth using a 2-1 ratio.
4. Remove the eggplant from the steamer and allow them to cool for a couple minutes before scraping out the insides with a spoon. Mince the eggplant flesh and add to the greens and celery, turning the heat up to medium so it will cook.
5. When the rice is ready,add that to the vegetables, and cover for 5 minutes so that the rest of the liquid can cook out.
6. Spoon the rice mixture into the eggplant halves, top with scallions and Gomasio, and serve!
Normal civilized people would probably eat this with a knife and fork…me and my other half? Simply picked up the eggplants and started chowing down. It was a bit messy, but it worked, and it was good.
My thoughts on this were that the rice dish is really good, and has a great Asian flair to it. I was also a big fan of the celery, as I had intended, it added a much needed crunch to the dish. Stuffing the rice into eggplants looked really cool and made a nice eating vessle, but it was in no way necessary. The hollowed out eggplant skins were pretty bland and unexciting, all show no glow. So the rice dish? I give myself a star, but I would be more excited about the eggplant if it added a solid taste element to the dish.