Saturday, October 9, 2010

eggplant and wild rice

I am one of those people that crave eggplant. Don’t know when that happened because I can assure you there was a long time I wouldn’t even consider putting a piece of eggplant in my mouth. Is it the color? Is it the texture? Is it the bad reputation?  Whatever, I got over it and now I am a true eggplant lover. (I make a killer eggplant parm – baked, not fried….)

This is delicious as a  side dish but it is hearty enough for an entrée – I could eat the entire thing. It’s cheesy, chewy and filled with spices. If you are not an eggplant eater, maybe this will entice you….

Here’s what you need:
All these amounts can be varied according to your taste – this is a good balance, but more rice is always good too. And less cheese if you’re watching the calories.

1 large eggplant or 2 smaller ones
2 C chopped onions
12 oz mushrooms, chopped
5-6 medium cloves garlic, minced
½ C raw, wild rice  (I have used brown rice here, but wild rice is outstanding in this dish. I actually found it in a small box in the grocery, just the right amount – no waste….)
1 ½ C cottage cheese (large curd, low fat is fine)
1 C grated cheddar cheese
2 T sunflower seeds
1 T sesame seeds
2 T olive oil
1 t salt
1 t dried basil
½ t dried thyme
½ t dried oregano
¼ t crushed red pepper flakes

Here’s what you do:
Make the rice according to the directions. Basically, it’s ½ C raw rice in 1 ½ C boiling water. Cover and simmer for about 45 minutes. It’s really chewy and nutty tasting. Be sure to wash the rice beforehand... and make sure the pan does not dry out while simmering.... babysit it.

Peel the eggplant and chop all the veggies. It’s a mess and it takes a while. Sautee all the veggies with the spices, salt and garlic in the olive oil for about 20 – 25 minutes until it is all one beautiful thing. It really cooks down, so don’t be alarmed at first at the huge amount of veggies.

In a big bowl combine the sautéed veggies, the cheeses, the cooked rice and the seeds.

Bake in a greased casserole for about 30 minutes or until bubbly.

This is one of my favorites. I prefer it the next day for a gourmet lunch and I usually serve it with roasted tomatoes.

(printable recipe)


  1. I just bought/cooked my first eggplant last weekend. I'm still on the fence, but I did love how it soaked up the flavors of what it cooked in...I do love wild rice. And I'm always on the lookout for veg recipes for my SIL!

  2. This is definitely the next item that I am going to make out of tracy's living cookbook!!! This looks awesome!

  3. If you already like eggplant then this dish will really please you.... If you are new to eggplant, I think this dish has enough other flavors going on to 'mask' the eggplant.... try it and see!

  4. I like eggplant and look for eggplant receipes. I grew up growing eggplant in our garden. Yes, it took a little bit of prep to chop, chop, chop. It cooked up beautifully and is really deliceous. Ate it more like a warm dip with flat bread and salad. Deliceous. Heats up well in the microwave for additional snacks and meals. Just as good!


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