Stuffed Baked Eggplant

3 small eggplants (they should be the size of little cantaloupes)
2 red bell peppers
4 to 5 Tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper
minced garlic
2 onions
3 to 4 sprigs fresh parsley
basil
3 to 4 tomatoes
1 – 2 cups of raw (not roasted) nut pieces (walnuts, cashews or other “meaty” nuts)

Topping:
1 cup ground walnuts (for method 1)
1/2 cup wheat germ (for method 1)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 Tbs. melted butter
1 cup milk or light cream

Slice each eggplant in half lengthwise and cut out the meat, leaving 1/4 inch in the skin. Dice up the eggplant into fairly large pieces, and the red bell pepper into small ones, reserving about 1/3 of one of the peppers for decoration.

In a large skillet heat about 3 tablespoons of the olive oil and saute the eggplant and diced bell pepper in it, tossing the pieces lightly until they are evenly coated and the eggplant starts to get soft. Season it with salt and pepper and a little minced garlic if desired. Add 1 cup of the nut pieces. Divide this mixture evenly between the 6 eggplant shells, pressing it down into them.

Chop the onion, parsley & tomatoes. Saute the onions in the remaining olive oil, adding the chopped fresh parelsey and some crushed sweet basil along with a little minced garlic. When the oninos just beging to get soft, add the chopped tomatoes, simmer a few minutes, then spread the mixture on top of the eggplant pieces in the shells and pat it down. The eggpant shells sould be full to the top but not overflowing.

Method 1: (original) Combine the wheat germ, nuts and Parmesan cheese; moisten with the melted butter and enough milk to make soft paste and spread a thin layer of the mixture on top of each eggplant half. Decorate this crust with the reserved red pepper sliced into thin strips.
Method 2: (mine) Dot the tops of the eggplants with butter, pour the cream over, and top with the grated cheese. Decorate with the red pepper slices and the remaining nut pieces.

Bake in an oiled dish for about 45 mintues at 350 degrees. Serve hot; 6 servings.

This is adapted from Anna Thomas’s Vegetarian Epicure cookbook.

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