Eggplants are one of those vegetables that people are often uncomfortable turning into a main dish at a meal unless they are vegetarian. I love them, I love their texture, their flavour and their meatiness. So here is what I did with a couple of them last night to make a wonderful meal:
I had the skinnier versions of the eggplant and sliced them length-wise after taking off the tops and bottoms. I then brushed them in olive oil and sprinkled salt and garlic over them and popped them in the oven at 350 for about 20 minutes or so.
While they were baking, I put on some rice mixed with a little bulghur wheat in a pot with salted water, some saffron and a little butter and set that on the stove to cook. Then I sliced up a couple of tomatoes and some cheese (since I am in Turkey and all the cheeses I would normally use - brie and mozzarella - are really expensive, I just used some halloumi cheese and some kasar cheese).
I then took the eggplant halves out of the oven, topped them with the tomatoes and lightly dusted them with basil, oregano and rosemary before putting the cheeses on top and putting them back in the oven. There is no time limit for how long they should stay in the oven, but the general rule is to wait until the cheese is bubbly and melty good! I originally took this recipe from Cook Yourself Thin, but have had to make some adjustments now that I am here and can't just find all the things that they list so easily. But if you are in North American or Europe and can easily get what they call for, I really recommend their recipes. Super healthy and easy and TASTY!!