Caprese Stuffed Roasted Eggplant is a showstopper of a main course, guaranteed to be loved by vegetarians and omnivores alike. After all, who can resist ripe tomatoes, flavorful pesto and melty mozzarella roasted in a hasselback-cut eggplant?
When my elder daughter went off to university, she fell in with a crowd of vegetarians. All really nice kids, I couldn’t help but like them. But that girl had grown up in a home that was definitely meat-centric. How could she live a baconless life! (Was a baconless life even worth living? Turns out, yes.) Fortunately she came home that first Christmas with a flexible attitude and a few lovely recipes to teach me. She was happy to eat whatever side dishes I made with dinner and just skip the meat portion. But that began my search for tasty vegetarian recipes we would all enjoy.
On many Sunday Supper tables around the world, including ours, the centerpiece of every holiday meal is something roasted, perhaps beef, chicken, pork or leg of lamb. The vegetables, gravy and bread rolls that accompany the meat are supporting actors, but that big oven-roasted turkey at Christmas time? He is the super star.
In vegetarian households some replace the meat with a nut roast or faux meat of some kind, perhaps made out of tofu or seitan. I am not a fan of those though and would rather make a lovely roasted vegetable ratatouille or eggplant Parmigiana. Or skip the showstopper all together and just make several vegetable and pasta dishes with a side salad. Hey, if you really need a centerpiece, how about some flowers?
Or you can try my wonderful Caprese Stuffed Roasted Eggplant. It’s more impressive with one big eggplant. In fact, I almost turned the words around and called it a Caprese Stuffed Eggplant Roast, but you can also use several smaller eggplants if that’s what you have available. If you do have one large eggplant, the trick is to roast it in a pan or dish that is just the right size so you can press it down to fit securely. That way, it won’t tip sideways as it bakes.
- 1 very large eggplant or 2 smaller ones
- 2 large beef tomatoes, halved and sliced
- 4¾ oz or 135g mozzarella cheese, not soft burrata but the pizza kind, sliced
- ¾ cup or 190g pesto
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- Toasted pine nuts, little basil leaves and fresh grated Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 350°F or 180°C.
- Slice the eggplant almost all the way through, leaving the slices connected at the bottom. (The easiest way to do this is to place a chopstick or wooden spoon handle on either side of the eggplant. Cut through just until the knife hits the chopstick or spoon. The slices should be around 7-8mm thick.
- You’ll have to hold the eggplant to support the uncut side, allowing the cuts to open a bit. Put a healthy teaspoon of pesto into each cut then stuff a tomato and mozzarella slice in after, which should push the pesto down into the cut and spread it around. This was awkward to photograph but here’s my best try.
- Place the stuffed eggplant in a snug ovenproof baking dish greased with a little olive oil. Push it down so it almost lays flat. It will slump completely flat as it roasts.
- Drizzle on a little olive oil and roast in your preheated over for about an hour or until the eggplant is cooked through and nicely browned.
- To serve, cut through the bottom of the slices, making sure that each slice has some cheese and tomato on top as you lay them on the dinner plates.
- Sprinkle with pine nuts, basil and Parmesan, if desired.
Did you know that October 1st is World Vegetarian Day and it kicks off Vegetarian Awareness Month? Not to worry, Sunday Supper’s got you covered with lots of delicious recipes to try! Many thanks to your host this week, Susan of The Wimpy Vegetarian and our event manager, Renee of Renee’s Kitchen Adventures for all of their hard work!
Best Vegetable Recipes
- Citrus Marinated Olives by Cricket’s Confections
- Goat Cheese and Red Onion Quesadilla by The Freshman Cook
- Grilled Green Tomato and Mozzarella Salad by Monica’s Table
- Italian Lupini Beans by She Loves Biscotti
- Orange Ginger Carrot Soup by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
- Butternut Squash Zoodles with Fried Sage Sauce by Home Sweet Homestead
- Caprese Stuffed Roasted Eggplant by Sunday Supper Movement
- Cheesy Cauliflower Cake by Food Lust People Love
- Chipotle Tofu Tacos with Plantain by Caroline’s Cooking
- Glazed Carrot and Quinoa Salad with Crispy Chickpeas by Helpful Homemade
- Green Goddess Mac and Cheese by Moore or Less Cooking
- Mujaddara by A Day in the Life on the Farm
- Penne-Wise Pumpkin Pasta by Wholistic Woman
- Pumpkin Gnocchi and Spinach with Sage Brown Butter Sauce by The Redhead Baker
- Radical Reuben Sandwich by Palatable Pastime
- Roasted Delicata Squash with Sriracha Aioli by The Hungry Goddess
- Roasted Vegetable Casserole by A Mind “Full”Mom
- Spicy Tofu and Rice Stir Fry by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Spinach Stuffed Pasta Shells by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Strawberry Soba Noodle Salad by Sew You Think You Can Cook
- Vegan Creamy Butternut Squash Soup with Spinach by Cooking Chat
- Vegetarian Sweet Potato Shepherd’s Pie by Take A Bite Out of Boca
- Veggie Riggies: A Rigatoni Sauté by Hardly A Goddess
- Caramelized Onions and Cauliflower by Culinary Adventures with Camilla
- Cauliflower Tabbouleh with Chickpeas by Simple and Savory
- Cheesy Broccoli Cauliflower Rice by My Life Cookbook
- Locro de Papa (Ecuadorian Potato Soup) by Curious Cuisiniere
- South African Yellow Rice by What Smells So Good?
- Spiralized Sweet Potato and Apple Sauté with Dates by The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Turmeric Hummus Casserole by Dizzy Busy and Hungry
- Chocolate Orange Beet Cake by Baking Sense
- Chocolate Zucchini Cake by Mindy’s Cooking Obsession
- Make Your Children Eat Their Vegetables…in a Cupcake! by The Ninja Baker
- Zucchini Blueberry Coffee Cake by Pies and Plots
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