Yes, dear readers, this is our second recipe for stuffed vegetables during this wonderful month of VeganMoFo. If you missed it, our glorious recipe for stuffed grape leaves is here. We decided to do a second post about zucchini and eggplant in particular because the mix is a bit different, but also because the technique for hollowing out the vegetables and filling them with mix takes a bit of practice. So, here are our tips and tricks for successful stuffed zucchini and eggplant.
1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) zucchini
1 kilogram (2.2 pounds) small, slender white eggplant
For the stuffing mix:
4 cloves garlic
2 cups rice, raw
2 onion, minced
2 tomatoes, minced
1 teaspoon dried mint
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons dill, minced
2 tablespoons parsley, minced
2 teaspoons salt
For soaking hollowed-out eggplants:
about 1 liter water
1 tablespoon salt
6 cups water
4 bouillon cubes
1. Mix all the ingredients for the stuffing mix in a large bowl.
2. Prepare the zucchini and eggplant. You will need a special kitchen tool for making dolma that helps you scoop out the insides of long, slender vegetables. (I actually don’t know what this is called in English or Arabic – Anyone?) You will use it gently dig in to the flesh, twist, and tug out the insides.
3. Start with the zucchini. Cut off the stem. Take your time as you scoop out the insides and put them aside. You can use them in the soup as the stuffed vegetables cook or for some other tasty dish.
4. In order to make scooping the insides of the eggplant easier, it is advised to roll them with a rolling pin or your hands while placing pressure on the eggplant. First, remove the stem part from the top of the eggplant. Then roll. After a few rolls, the eggplant will look a bit darker and will be squishy to the touch. This will make hollowing out the insides much easier! Just make sure that when hollowing the eggplant, you remove all the insides and discard them. If some remain inside, you will have a bitter-tasting result!
5. It is important that when you hollow out one of the eggplants, you soak it in a large bowl of water and salt until you have completed all the eggplants. This will help reduce any bitter flavor.
Soaking the hollowed-out eggplant (no need for this step with the zucchini)
6. Prepare a pot.
7. Fill up the hollowed out vegetables with the stuffing mix, one by one. It’s easiest to use your fingers for this part. Leave between 1 to 1 and ½ inches (2.5 – 3.8 cm) of empty space at the end of the vegetable to give the rice room to expand and to prevent leakage as they cook.
8. Arrange the stuffed vegetables in the pot. Add tomatoes between layers. Cover with a heavy plate to avoid movement while they cook.
Ready to cook - you can see I added some of the inside of the zucchini to cook with the stuffed veggies along with tomatoes...
9. Prepare the soup. Mix the water and the bouillon cubes and bring to a boil.
10. Pour the soup over the vegetables until it just covers the top layer. Cover the pot and cook for 30-45 minutes.
Nutritional Information (for 1 of 25 pieces):
Calories: 77; Fat: less than 1; Cholesterol: 0g; Carbohydrates: 15g; Fiber: 1g; Protein: 1g