I have made stuffed peppers in the past with ground beef and rice. This is a twist on that classic and dinner tonight was really to make good use of my fridge and freezer items.
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Eggplant Stuffed with Italian Sausage, Couscous and Vegetables
Mise En Place
- 1 large eggplant
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 4 links of mild Italian sausage, removed from casing
- 1 red pepper, small diced
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 zucchini, finely chopped
- 1 cup of chicken stock
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 green onions, chopped
- 1 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, grated *
- 1 cup of couscous **
- 1 egg, beaten
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise and scoop out the center, leaving enough meat inside the skin so that it holds its shape when baked. Chop the eggplant into bite size pieces.
Meanwhile, in a medium pan heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the ground sausage breaking up the sausage into a ‘crumbly’ texture. Continue to cook completely for 10-12 minutes. Remove from heat and place in a large mixing bowl.
Using the same sauté pan over medium heat add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the carrots, peppers and garlic together for 2-3 minutes until the carrots are slightly soft. Add the chopped eggplant and chicken stock, cook for 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
Add to the bowl with the sausage; mix together the cooked eggplant, vegetables, 1 cup of the cheese, couscous, green onions and the egg. Season the mixture with salt and pepper.
Fill the scooped-out eggplant halves with this mixture, dividing it evenly between the 2 halves.
Place on an oiled oven tray or baking dish, and bake for 50 minutes in preheated oven. Top with remaining 1/4 cup of cheese. Place back in the oven for 5 minutes more to melt the cheese.
Let cool briefly, slice widthwise and serve.
* The cheese for this recipe is your preference. I used a mixture of cheddar and smoked havarti.
** Prepare couscous to package directions. I used Pearl Harvest Couscous | WildRoots® natural foods, trail mix, cereals, grains & seeds, dried fruit, and more It is a mixture of Israeli couscous, along with red and green orzo, split dried garbanzo beans, and red quinoa. Feel free to mix it up with using cooked versions of a regular couscous, rice, or quinoa. Bread Crumbs would also work for a good substitution.