Photo credit: Katie Stoops
This guest post was written by Barton Seaver, chef and author of For Cod and Country.
This is a fun dish to serve to guests in the summer, as you can prepare it ahead and it tastes wonderful at room temperature. The brilliance of the vegetable flavors is really what shines here.1 cup bread crumbs
2 jumbo eggplants
4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 small onion, cut into 1-inch pieces
4 cloves garlic, grated on a Microplane or very finely minced
8 salt-packed anchovies (page 24) or 16 oil-packed anchovy fillets
1 tablespoon sweet smoked paprika
2 medium zucchini, diced into 1/2-inch pieces
4 Roma tomatoes, diced in 1/2-inch pieces
In a dry pan over medium heat, toast the bread crumbs, stirring constantly, until golden brown. Set aside. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Heat a heavy sauté pan over high heat, then add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and sear the cut sides of the eggplant halves until well browned. Transfer them to a baking sheet and place in the oven for 12 minutes. Remove eggplant from oven and let cool, leaving the oven on.
While the eggplant is baking, add the onion, garlic, and 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to the pan and sauté over high heat until the onion begins to soften. Add the anchovies and paprika and cook for 30 seconds to flavor the oil. Add the zucchini and cook for about 4 minutes, without stirring. Add the tomatoes and cook until they break down, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and season to taste with salt. Place the tomato mixture in a medium bowl with the bread crumbs.
When the eggplants are cool enough to handle, scoop out the insides, chop them, and add to the bowl. When scraping the eggplant halves, make sure to leave enough flesh on the inside so that the outer skin does not collapse. Season the eggplant hulls with salt. Stir the vegetable mixture well and use it to stuff the eggplants. Return the eggplants to the oven for 10 minutes to warm the stuffing through. Then increase the heat to broil and cook about 4 inches from the heat source until the tops are brown and beginning to char, about 3 minutes.
Drizzle the eggplant halves with the remaining tablespoon olive oil. Serve immediately.
Serves 4 as a main course
Photo credit: Katie Stoops
Chef, author, and National Geographic Fellow Barton Seaver is on a mission to restore our relationship with the ocean, the land, and with each other—through dinner. He believes food is a crucial way for us to connect with the ecosystems, people, and cultures of our world.
A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and executive chef at some of the most celebrated restaurants in his native Washington, D.C., Seaver is known for his devotion to quality, culinary innovation, and sustainability. In 2008, he was honored as a "Seafood Champion" by the Seafood Choices Alliance and as "Rising Culinary Star of the Year" by the Restaurant Association of Metropolitan Washington. He was named Esquire magazine's "Chef of the Year" in 2009.
As a National Geographic Fellow, Seaver works on ocean issues with Mission Blue to increase awareness and inspire action. He also works closely with D.C. Central Kitchen, the School Nutrition Association, the Center for Health and the Global Environment at Harvard Medical School, and Future of Fish.
Seaver's insights have been featured in Cooking Light, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Washington Post, Fortune, and Vanity Fair. He has appeared on CNN, NPR's All Things Considered, National Geographic Weekend, and Bloomberg Radio. In 2010, he gave a TED Talk aboard the National Geographic Endeavor. \
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