I kept the filling easy and fresh. I browned ground beef, onions and garlic and then added fresh baby spinach, fresh tomatoes, crumbled feta and the roasted eggplant flesh I scooped out of the eggplant shells. I seasoned it with salt, pepper and a touch of cinnamon. I filled the little boats with the meat and veggie mixture and nestled them in a baking dish and then topped each boat with my "grain free bechamel sauce", then popped them in the oven to bake. They turned out delicious...sort of a blend between Moussaka (because of the eggplant, beef, tomato and bechamel) and Spanakopita (because of the spinach and feta). I love eggplant and love stuffing them with other things that I like, too. Hubby and I both enjoyed them. If there are any ingredients that you don't like, just omit them or swap them out...like use cheddar cheese instead of feta, etc. I snapped a few photos below (as well as a couple more from my visit to Cordova). Enjoy!
|Topped with bechamel and ready for the oven|
|If you live in Cordova, your groceries arrive weekly by barge (those that you don't gather, fish or hunt yourself, that is)...I snapped this photo from a bowpicker|
Stuffed Eggplant Boats with Beef, Spinach, Feta & Tomatoes
4 or 5 small Italian style eggplants (halved lengthwise)
1 cup diced fresh tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
8 ounces crumbled feta cheese (about 1 cup)
15-ounce container of ricotta
Stir the feta cheese and chopped eggplant flesh into cooled meat mixture. Using a large spoon, divide the filling evenly between the eggplant shells and fill until slightly mounded. Place filled shells in prepared baking dish, nestling close together. Spoon bechamel sauce on top of each eggplant half; lightly spread to cover meat filling. If desired, top with additional Parmesan cheese. Bake at 350 degrees F for 35 to 40 minutes. If desired, run under the broiler for a few minutes until golden brown. Let sit about 10 minutes before serving.