Stuffed Eggplant with Ricotta, Spinach and Artichoke

stuffed eggplant (7)

Have you ever been inspired by Pinterest? I have, many times.  I needed to cook up three eggplants before they went bad so I checked out Pinterest for a little inspiration, as I was wandering from page to page I saw an eggplant that was stuffed with spinach, ricotta and artichoke, that was it, that was my inspiration! The original recipe that was pinned had honey in it, I didn’t want to use honey but was inspired to make mine more Italian style, so that’s exactly what I did.

stuffed eggplant (9)

I started out by cutting my eggplant lengthwise then carefully scooping out the middle leaving a small border all the way around the eggplant half. Drizzled the inside with olive oil, salt and pepper, did the same with the scooped out eggplant, placed them all on a baking sheet in a preheated 400 degree oven until tender and cooked through.

When the eggplant was finished cooking I removed it from the oven to cool down. On another baking sheet I placed one 12oz bag of frozen artichoke hearts, courtesy of Trader Joe’s (which I have in my freezer at all times) a shallot and 3 minced garlic cloves, drizzled everything with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roasted in the 400 degree oven until artichokes defrosted and became tender.

I then placed everything into a big bowl, the artichoke mixture, the scooped out cooked eggplant, 1 heaping cup of ricotta cheese, 1 chopped roasted red pepper, 1 cup of fresh chopped baby spinach, a heaping 1/2 cup of grated romano cheese, chopped parsley and basil.

Pile high the mixture into the scooped out portion of the eggplant and place back into the 400 oven until ricotta is heated through, about 15 minutes.

For a finishing touch I drizzled a rich balsamic glaze all over the stuffed eggplant which just intensified all the flavors even more so!

We had this as our main course served with soup and salad, but it would also be great as a side. Enjoy!


Harvest Time! Our First Meal from the Garden

All the heat and rain we’ve been having this summer is doing wonders for our garden! Every day we’re out there picking something new. Kale and swiss chard are growing by leaps and bounds, tomatoes turning red, zucchini, romaine, eggplant, fresh herbs, it’s a beautiful thing!

We picked all of this and more over the weekend, we had so much kale that I decided to clean, cut and blanch it for a few minutes, drained it, and after it cooled down stuck it in the freezer. The kale keeps growing all summer long and into the fall, so if you have any good kale recipes, I’m all ears!

See that cute little round zucchini? That’s the first time we ever grew them, my friend Linda sent me the seeds after I admired the crop from her garden last year. I have another one almost ready to pick and then I’m going to stuff them both.

So I decided to make use of our first bounty and created a salad using romaine, zucchini, fresh basil and our sweet little cherry tomatoes all from the garden tossed together with a little leftover pasta and diced fresh mozzarella dressed in a light vinaigrette.

For the eggplant I kept them whole and in tact cutting slices and fanning them out, drizzling all over with olive oil, salt and pepper and then roasting in a 400F. oven until tender, after which I brushed each section with basil pesto and tucked slices of fresh mozzarella and juicy tomatoes inside placing them back into the oven just until the cheese melts. Oh so good!

Dinner is served!

Buon Appetito!