Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant with Savory Pistachio Cream

Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant with Savory Pistachio Cream on a white plate on countertop
Photo: Lauren O’Connor, MS. RD

This gorgeous melange of sautéed mushroom, tomato and green onion pairs nicely with the seasoned beans below it.  It’s a perfect filling for this melt-in-your mouth roasted eggplant.

These vegetables are so satisfying, you won’t go hungry after this dish. And with eggplant as a base, it’s a “meaty” choice without the beef — a great dish to prepare for “Meatless Mondays.” There are a variety of delicious ways to prepare and serve up eggplant, but this stuffed eggplant is now one of my favorite ways to enjoy the purple (white fleshed) bulb. It’s simpler than chopping and marinating and there’s no need to peel. Just slice in half, drizzle with oil, add a little sea salt and bake face down. And you can top it however you desire. I opted for a combo of mushrooms, tomatoes and green onion over a bed of seasoned beans because that’s what I had. But certainly a quinoa and bell pepper stuffed aubergine would have satisfied as well.

The most fun for me is not just the pairing of veggies to sauté, but also how to season. Today I used some ponzu, garlic and my homemade taco seasoning and honestly I could have eaten the filling alone. But stuffed in a warm roasted eggplant was such a delight and I just love the way it serves as a “bowl” — such a fun presentation.

Now I can’t say I wasn’t inspired. In fact the dish I set out to make was a quinoa stuffed eggplant with mushrooms, tomato, onions and a drizzling of tahini sauce. But since I neither had quinoa nor tahini, but conveniently a can of black beans available (see why I love working “from the cupboard to the table” for no-nonsense cooking at the convenience of your pantry), I thought I’d build my filling around beans. And luckily beans go so well with a variety of veggies. Here’s the recipe:


Vegetarian Stuffed Eggplant with Pistachio Cream

Serves 2

Ingredients

  • 1 medium eggplant, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 2 cups crimini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup of black beans
  • ½ cup green onion, chopped
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons taco seasoning, homemade, divided
  • ½ teaspoon ponzu sauce + ¼ teaspoon
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, divided
  • 1 Tablespoon pistachio butter
  • 3 Tablespoons cashew milk
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425ºF.
  2. Line a baking dish with foil or cooking spray
  3. Face up, dirizzle 1 Tablespoon of olive oil evenly onto the two eggplant halves.
  4. Sprinkle each with ⅛ teaspoon sea salt.
  5. Turn eggplant face down onto lined baking dish.
  6. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until flesh soft and skin starts to pucker.
  7. While eggplant is baking put remaining tablespoon of olive oil into a frying pan on stove at low-medium heat.
  8. Add garlic, ponzu sauce and 1 teaspoon taco seasoning and heat for about 2 minutes.
  9. Then add mushrooms, tomatoes and green onions and coat well, heating until aroma permeates and mushrooms, onions soft.
  10. Turn off stove and cover.
  11. Heat beans with a little of the juice from the can and add remaining teaspoon of taco seasoning, then set aside.
  12. In a small bowl or measuring cup, whisk pistachio butter, cashew milk, ¼ teaspoon ponzu sauce and garlic powder until well incorporated and the consistency of a thickened sauce.
  13. Remove roasted eggplant from oven.
  14. Fill each eggplant with ½ cup beans and top evenly with the sautéed mushroom/tomato veggie melange.
  15. Drizzle one Tablespoon of the pistachio cream on top.

Notes

You may scoop out some of the flesh of each eggplant half before baking to make room for the filling.

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Lauren O'Connor, MS, RD
Lauren O’Connor, MS, RDN, is a Los Angeles-based private practice dietitian, recipe developer and owner of Nutri Savvy Health, a program focusing on mindful eating and family nutrition. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


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