Totally Eggplant

  • The Turkish people have over 100 hundred methods of cooking the eggplant—a cultural testimony to this brilliant vegetable-that-is-actually-a-fruit. Although frequently friend, the eggplant can be more easily and healthfully prepared by roasting. Scrumptious eggplant seasonings include oregano, basil, and mint, and good eggplant companions are tomatoes, bell peppers, and zucchini. and some garlic, olive oil, and salt, and you're in business! Try the Baby Eggplants with Olives and Pine Nuts, Grilled Eggplant and Arugula Sandwich, Eggplant and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata, Fusilli with Grilled Eggplant and Fresh Tomatoes, and Eggplant Rolls with Goat Cheese Vinaigrette.
About The Author:
  • Helene Siegel has written most of the Totally Cookbook series. She is also the author of the Ethnic Kitchen Series (HarperCollins, 1992-1994) including Italian, Chinese, Mexican, and French Cooking for Beginners; and co-author of Mesa Mexicana (Morrow, 1994), and Ma Cuisine (Random House, 1988). She is a contributor to the Los Angeles Times, The Times Syndicate, Bon Appetit, and Food & Wine magazines and has appeared on numerous radio and television shows. She is a member of the Southern California Culinary Guild and International Association of Culinary Professionals. She resides in Los with her husband, two sons, and a well-fed dog.

Stuffed Eggplant Sicilian Style


The idea for this rich meat dish came from Michael Villella, whose mother cooked a similar specialty on feast days when he was growing up in Detroit.

  • 4 large eggplants, trimmed and quartered
  • 1 cup dry Italian bread, crust removed and cubed
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated Romano or Parmesan cheese
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried crumbled oregano
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2-1/2 cups tomato sauce

Lightly score eggplant, and steam until soft, about 20 minutes. Set aside.

Soak bread cubes in water and squeeze out excess. Combine in bowl and beef, egg, 1/4 cup of the cheese, garlic oregano, and pepper. When cool remove eggplant pulp, leaving 1/2-inch shell intact and chop. Combine pulp with meat mixture and divide into 8 portions. Stuff each shell.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Heat half the olive oil in skillet over high heat. Brown each shell on stuffing side and set aside. Stuffing-side up. (Use remaining 2 tablespoons oil for frying.)

Coat bottom of 9 X 13-inch baking pan with a cup of tomato sauce. Arrange shells, stuffing-side up, in sauce. Spoon remaining sauce over top, and bake, uncovered 1 hour, basting occasionally. Sprinkle top with remaining cheese and serve hot with pasta.

Serves 4


Eggplant Curry

This delectable curry takes no time to prepare. Serve with rice and a sweet chutney.

  • 6 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 large eggplant, unpeeled and cubed
  • salt
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 cup water
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 bunch spinach, washed and roughly chopped
  • 1 tomato, chopped

Heat 4 tablespoons of the oil in a large heavy pot over high heat. sauté eggplant with salt until soft and golden. Drain on paper towels.

Add remaining 2 tablespoons oil to pot and reduce heat to medium. sauté onion, garlic, and ginger until soft. Add curry powder, cumin, cinnamon, turmeric, cayenne, and tomato paste, and cook, stirring constantly, about 1 minute.

Add water and sugar, bring to a broil, and cook 1 minute longer at high heat. Stir in spinach and cook until wilted. Add eggplant and tomato, reduce heat, and cook just to blend flavors, about 4 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve hot over rice.

Serves 4


Recipe from:
Totally Eggplant
by Helene Siegel
Publication Date: May 15, 1996
Celestial Arts
ISBN: 0-89087-787-4
Repinted with permission

This page originally published as a FoodDay article in 1997.

Copyright © 2007, Forkmedia LLC. All rights reserved.

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This page modified January 2007

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