Today is the last day I will be posting for VeganMofo… so in honor of all the wonderful people who did so much work this past month, I decided to make something fancy-like. But, don’t be fooled. Keeping with my lazy-ish style, they weren’t difficult at all. This is actually a perfect way to use up all those baby eggplants you have lying around. Ok, that is a really lame joke… but it sure gives you a good excuse to pick some up next time you’re out. These are a lot of fun to make because they turn out so pretty and are quite easy to put together. I used a pomegranate/orange juice reduction sauce on these….which incidentally, was the most involved step. Feel free to sub out ingredients, garnish how you like, or just make the filling- it’s yummy all by itself.
Take washed and dried baby eggplants and slice down the middle lengthwise. Using a sharp knife, slice cross marks into the flesh, making sure not to cut through the skin. Like this:
Scoop out the eggplant using a metal spoon. Do this for each eggplant half. Once all eggplants have been sliced and gutted, take skins and salt the insides lightly. Turn upside down. Brush the purple sides with oil. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In large frying pan, heat oil or Earth Balance until hot. Combine gutted eggplant, chopped onions, mushrooms and spices and sauté until everything is tender, about 15 minutes. I started mine on high heat, and let it go for about 8 minutes. I then reduced the heat at the end to medium. Add the chopped dates and cook an additional 2 minutes or so. Salt to taste.
Take eggplant skins and stuff with filling from frying pan. Place into baking dish or on cookie sheet, filling side up ;) and drizzle with olive oil. Bake about 25-30 minutes or until shells are soft. While the eggplants are baking, make the sauce.
Simply mix pomegranate juice, orange juice and brown sugar into small saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring often, until reduced to 1/4 volume… or sticky. Drizzle on top of eggplants and serve.
Serve on a bed of couscous or whatever you would like. Since I’m not a huge fan of the eggplant skins, I like the couscous to catch the filling that I will inevitably dump out onto my plate. But, the tiny little eggplant shells make a very nice presentation… here they are all naked, before I added the sauce: