Ham & Cheese Stuffed Eggplant: The Ultimate Guide:

Baked Ham and cheese stuffed Aubergine / Eggplant – it’s like heaven! Piero teaches us another one of his favorite dishes and it’s bursting with flavor, if you haven’t tried any recipes from cooking with an Italian this is a must and it’s so easy to make with a few ingredients! Enjoy

  • Aubergine / Eggplant
  • Fresh Basil
  • Grated Parmesan
  • Cooked Ham (if you like) or don’t use to be vegetarian
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Emmental cheese (or any you like)
  • Tomato Puree

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Do you eat the skin of stuffed eggplant?

Whether or not to eat the skin of stuffed eggplant is a matter of personal preference. The skin of eggplant is edible and contains beneficial nutrients and fiber. However, it can have a slightly tougher texture compared to the flesh of the eggplant.

When preparing stuffed eggplant, some people choose to leave the skin intact for added texture and visual appeal. Others may prefer to remove the skin before stuffing and cooking the eggplant for a softer and smoother texture.

Ultimately, the decision to eat or remove the skin of stuffed eggplant is up to you. Consider your own taste preferences and the texture you desire when enjoying this delicious dish.

How do you cut eggplant for stuffing?

To begin, choose a medium-sized eggplant with a smooth and firm skin. Rinse the eggplant under cold water and gently pat it dry. Next, trim off the stem end of the eggplant, creating a flat surface for stability.

With a knife, carefully slice the eggplant in half lengthwise, creating two long halves. If the eggplant is larger, you may want to cut it into quarters. Take note of the beautiful purple skin contrasting against the creamy flesh.

Using a small knife or spoon, delicately scoop out the flesh from the center of each eggplant half. Aim for a shell with a thickness of about a quarter of an inch. Exercise caution to avoid puncturing or damaging the skin as you remove the flesh.

The scooped-out flesh can be saved for other recipes or incorporated into the stuffing mixture, offering a delightful combination of flavors. If desired, you can create shallow diagonal cuts or a crisscross pattern on the inside of the eggplant shells, allowing for more even cooking and better adherence of the stuffing.

Now, with your prepared eggplant shells in hand, you can proceed to stuff them with your desired filling. Take your time to pack the filling mixture evenly into each shell, ensuring a satisfying and flavorful result.

By following these steps, you’ll have elegantly prepared eggplant shells ready to be filled with a delectable stuffing. Embrace the opportunity to explore different flavor combinations and create a delightful stuffed eggplant dish to savor and enjoy.

Top 5 Stuffings for eggplants

  1. Mediterranean Quinoa Stuffing: Prepare a mixture of cooked quinoa, sautéed onions, garlic, bell peppers, diced tomatoes, Kalamata olives, crumbled feta cheese, and a sprinkle of dried oregano and lemon zest. Stuff the eggplant shells with this flavorful and nutritious combination.
  2. Italian Sausage and Mozzarella Stuffing: Cook crumbled Italian sausage with onions and garlic until browned. Mix in cooked rice or breadcrumbs, chopped sun-dried tomatoes, shredded mozzarella cheese, and fresh herbs like basil and parsley. This savory stuffing brings an Italian flair to your stuffed eggplants.
  3. Middle Eastern Lentil and Rice Stuffing: Prepare a filling by cooking lentils and rice together until tender. Sauté onions, garlic, and spices like cumin, coriander, and cinnamon. Combine the cooked lentils and rice with the sautéed mixture, along with chopped fresh herbs like parsley and mint. This aromatic stuffing offers a delightful blend of flavors.
  4. Spinach and Goat Cheese Stuffing: Sauté fresh spinach with garlic until wilted. In a bowl, mix the cooked spinach with crumbled goat cheese, breadcrumbs, grated Parmesan cheese, and a pinch of nutmeg. The combination of creamy goat cheese and vibrant spinach creates a delicious and satisfying filling.
  5. Moroccan-inspired Chickpea and Vegetable Stuffing: Sauté diced eggplant, bell peppers, onions, and carrots with Moroccan spices like cumin, paprika, and cinnamon. Add cooked chickpeas, raisins, and a squeeze of lemon juice. This exotic stuffing brings a delightful blend of sweet and savory flavors to your stuffed eggplants.

Feel free to customize these stuffings by adjusting the ingredients to your liking and incorporating your favorite herbs, spices, or additional vegetables. Enjoy the process of experimenting and creating unique stuffed eggplants with these flavorful fillings!

Ham & Cheese

How do you make eggplant not soggy?

To prevent eggplant from becoming soggy during cooking, it’s important to follow a few key steps. First, choose a firm and fresh eggplant with smooth skin. Avoid eggplants that feel mushy or have wrinkled skin, as these indicate they may be overripe.

Before using the eggplant, you can take the extra step of salting it. Slice or cube the eggplant and sprinkle it with salt. Let it sit for about 30 minutes to draw out excess moisture. This process helps reduce the water content of the eggplant, resulting in a firmer texture.

After the salting period, rinse the eggplant under cold water to remove the salt. Pat it dry with paper towels to remove any remaining moisture.

When it comes to cooking, be mindful of the cooking techniques and times. Overcooking eggplant can lead to sogginess, so it’s important to cook it just until it becomes tender. Whether you’re sautéing, baking, or grilling, aim for a slightly firm texture that still holds its shape.

If you’re preparing dishes like eggplant Parmesan or stuffed eggplant, consider precooking the eggplant slices or cubes. Lightly sauté, bake, or grill the eggplant before assembling the final dish. This step partially cooks the eggplant, removes excess moisture, and prevents it from becoming soggy during the final cooking process.

When sautéing or stir-frying eggplant, use high heat and cook it quickly. This technique helps seal the moisture inside the eggplant, preventing it from releasing excessive water and becoming soggy.

Additionally, use oil sparingly to avoid excessive oil absorption. Eggplant tends to absorb oil when cooking, so lightly brush the eggplant with oil or use a non-stick pan instead of submerging it in a large amount of oil. This helps maintain a better texture and prevents sogginess.

By following these steps, you can achieve cooked eggplant with a tender texture and avoid the problem of sogginess. Enjoy incorporating eggplant into your favorite recipes while preserving its desirable texture!

vegetarian stuffed eggplant recipe:

Here’s a delicious vegetarian stuffed eggplant recipe for you to enjoy:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large eggplants
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional, for added flavor)
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs (such as parsley, basil, or mint)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise, and scoop out the flesh from the center, leaving about a 1/4-inch thick shell. Chop the scooped-out eggplant flesh into small pieces and set aside.
  2. Place the eggplant shells on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the shells become tender.
  3. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the diced onion and minced garlic, and sauté until they become fragrant and translucent.
  4. Add the diced bell pepper, zucchini, and the chopped eggplant flesh to the skillet. Cook for about 5 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.
  5. Stir in the cooked quinoa and cherry tomatoes, and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes until everything is heated through.
  6. Remove the skillet from heat and fold in the crumbled feta cheese (if using) and the chopped fresh herbs. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  7. Spoon the quinoa and vegetable mixture into the baked eggplant shells, pressing it down gently to fill them completely.
  8. Return the stuffed eggplants to the oven and bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the filling is heated through and the tops are lightly browned.
  9. Once cooked, remove the stuffed eggplants from the oven and let them cool slightly before serving.

These vegetarian stuffed eggplants make a satisfying and flavorful main course. Serve them alongside a fresh salad or some crusty bread for a complete meal. Enjoy the delicious combination of quinoa, vegetables, and herbs in every bite!

Do I need to soak eggplant in milk?

Soaking eggplant in milk is a technique sometimes used to reduce its bitterness and improve its texture. However, it’s not necessary for every recipe and can depend on personal preference and the specific characteristics of the eggplant you’re using.

Bitterness in eggplant can vary depending on the variety and freshness. If you find that your eggplant has a bitter taste, soaking it in milk or saltwater solution can help to draw out some of the bitterness. The milk or saltwater can also help tenderize the eggplant, making it softer and more enjoyable to eat.

To soak eggplant in milk, simply slice or cube the eggplant and submerge it in a bowl of milk. Let it soak for around 15-30 minutes, then drain and pat it dry before using it in your recipe.

However, if you have a fresh and mild-tasting eggplant or if the recipe you’re following doesn’t call for soaking, you can skip this step. It’s always a good idea to taste a small piece of raw eggplant to assess its bitterness before deciding whether soaking is necessary.

Ultimately, soaking eggplant in milk is an optional step that can be used to address bitterness and improve texture, but it’s not mandatory for all recipes. Feel free to experiment and adjust based on your taste preferences and the specific qualities of the eggplant you’re working with.

Can i cook a whole aubergine in the air fryer?

Yes!

Start by preheating your air fryer to a temperature of 375°F (190°C). While the air fryer is heating up, take a whole aubergine and gently pierce it several times with a fork or a knife. These piercings will allow steam to escape as the aubergine cooks.

Once the air fryer is preheated, carefully place the whole aubergine inside the air fryer basket or on the air fryer rack. Make sure there is enough space around the aubergine for the hot air to circulate freely.

Now it’s time to cook the aubergine. Set the timer for approximately 25 to 35 minutes, as the exact cooking time will depend on the size of the aubergine and the specific model of your air fryer. During this time, the aubergine will undergo a transformation as the skin starts to char and the flesh inside becomes soft and tender.

Once the cooking time is complete, use tongs or oven mitts to carefully remove the hot aubergine from the air fryer. Place it on a heat-safe surface and allow it to cool for a few minutes.

Once the aubergine has cooled down slightly, you can cut it open. The charred skin should be easy to peel away, revealing the soft and flavorful flesh inside. You can scoop out the cooked flesh and use it in various recipes, such as dips, spreads, or as a side dish. Alternatively, you can enjoy the cooked aubergine as is, seasoned with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.

Cooking a whole aubergine in the air fryer is a convenient method that produces tender and delicious results. The high heat and circulating air help to cook the aubergine evenly, resulting in a flavorful and versatile ingredient for your culinary creations.

air fryer aubergine recipes

Here are two delicious air fryer aubergine (eggplant) recipes for you to try:

  1. Air Fryer Aubergine Fries:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large aubergine (eggplant)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional: Dipping sauce of your choice (such as marinara sauce or garlic aioli)

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Cut the aubergine into long, thin fry-like strips.
  3. In a bowl, combine the olive oil, paprika, garlic powder, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. Toss the aubergine strips in the oil and spice mixture until well coated.
  4. Place the coated aubergine strips in the air fryer basket in a single layer, without overcrowding.
  5. Cook the aubergine fries in the air fryer for 10-15 minutes, flipping them halfway through the cooking time, until they are golden and crispy.
  6. Remove the fries from the air fryer and serve them immediately with your favorite dipping sauce.
  1. Air Fryer Stuffed Aubergine Boats:

Ingredients:

  • 2 large aubergines (eggplants)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa or rice
  • 1/2 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup diced red bell pepper
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your air fryer to 375°F (190°C).
  2. Cut the aubergines in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving a shell about 1/4 inch thick.
  3. Chop the aubergine flesh into small pieces.
  4. In a skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced tomatoes, red bell pepper, red onion, and minced garlic. Sauté for a few minutes until the vegetables soften.
  5. Add the chopped aubergine flesh to the skillet and cook for another 5 minutes.
  6. Remove the skillet from heat and stir in the cooked quinoa or rice, dried basil, dried oregano, salt, and pepper. If using, add the crumbled feta cheese and mix well.
  7. Stuff the aubergine shells with the filling mixture, packing it in tightly.
  8. Place the stuffed aubergine boats in the air fryer basket and cook for 20-25 minutes, or until the aubergine shells are tender and the filling is heated through.
  9. Remove the stuffed aubergine boats from the air fryer and let them cool for a few minutes before serving.

These air fryer aubergine recipes provide a healthier and delicious way to enjoy this versatile vegetable. Whether you’re in the mood for crispy fries or flavorful stuffed boats, these recipes are sure to satisfy your cravings. Enjoy!

Why do you put salt on eggplant before cooking?

Salting eggplant before cooking serves two main purposes:

  1. Reducing Bitterness: Eggplant can sometimes have a slightly bitter taste, especially in larger and more mature varieties. Salting the eggplant helps to draw out some of the bitter compounds, specifically a compound called solanine. By sprinkling salt on the eggplant and allowing it to sit for a short period, the salt draws out the bitter liquid, resulting in a milder flavor.
  2. Extracting Moisture: Eggplant has a high water content, and salting it helps to remove excess moisture. The salt causes osmosis, drawing out the moisture from the eggplant flesh. Removing excess moisture through salting helps prevent the eggplant from becoming overly soggy when cooked. This step is particularly useful for recipes where you want to avoid a watery or mushy texture.

It’s important to note that not all eggplants necessarily require salting. Smaller and younger varieties of eggplant are typically less bitter, and salting may not be necessary. Additionally, some cooking methods, such as grilling or roasting at high temperatures, can also help mitigate bitterness without the need for salting.

If you decide to salt your eggplant, here’s a simple method: Slice or cube the eggplant, sprinkle salt on the pieces, and let them sit for about 15-30 minutes. Rinse the salted eggplant under cold water to remove the salt and pat it dry before cooking or using it in your recipe.

Ultimately, salting eggplant is an optional step that can help improve its flavor and texture, particularly for larger or more mature varieties. It can be beneficial for certain recipes, but feel free to adjust based on your taste preferences and the specific characteristics of the eggplant you’re working with.

Do you have other Bread / Pizza recipe Videos?

Yes! we do, here is a list:
Best Banana Cake
Ham & Cheese Stuffed Pastry Roll
Easy Homemade Bread Recipe

Do you have any other videos? Yes here are our latest ones:

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Cooking With An Italian

Ciao I am Piero coming all the way from Puglia Italy. I created this site to bring my love of food to all, hope you enjoy.