I love eggplant. The sad thing is that my partner does not, so the amounts in this recipe are given for one person, but they are very simple to double or triple. Baking only one eggplant is a little sad, so I always bake more than one and make something else out of the others. I already wrote it down in the recipe too, but I can’t stress enough – do not undercook the eggplant. Undercooked eggplant is not a nice thing to eat. Baking whole like we do today, it is practically impossible to overcook it as the skin protects the tender flesh, so baking for longer is in this recipe always a better choice.
I have included one of my favorite condiments in this recipe – marinated onions. As there are bigger onion lovers and the ones who only tolerate them, I did not mention amounts in the recipe (in fact, I never measure the ingredients when making marinated onions), so you can choose yourself how much of them you wish to include. I always marinate a bigger batch of onions, keep them in an airtight jar, and use them within a week or two. The basic recipe is 1 large onion, 1 small lemon, and 1 tsp of salt. Just slice the onions as thinly as possible and massage it between your hands with salt and lemon juice. That’s it. Now you can use it in this recipe, between tacos, on nachos, or anything else, really.
Oh, and the bean salad used as a filling in this recipe is a nice salad on its own, too, if you don’t have time to bake the eggplant or you are just one of those people who does not like this beautiful vegetable.
Butterbeans in Baked Eggplant
Cooking time: 1 hour
1 small eggplant
7 oz butter beans
1 red chili (feel free to omit if you don’t like spice)
A handful of fresh mint and parsley
1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Marinated red onions (recipe added in the text)
Bake the whole eggplant with the fan on 400F for at least 40 minutes until it is tender. The exact cooking time depends on the size of the eggplant. If you are not sure if the eggplant is tender enough, leave it in for a little more – undercooked eggplant is not a nice thing to eat.
In the meantime, marinate the onion (instructions in the text).
Mix the filling – chop up the herbs and chili, mix with the beans, and season with salt. Add a fair amount of marinated onion.
Once the eggplant is tender, remove it from the oven, cut it up lengthways and pull some soft flesh apart with a fork. Fill the eggplant with bean salad and serve immediately – the heat from the eggplant lightly warms the salad too.
By Kadri Raig
Kadri is a food blogger and yoga teacher from Estonia. She loves to spend time in the kitchen, but most of her recipes are simple and don’t take more than 20 minutes of active cooking time. She thinks that everybody can find time to cook healthy food at home, it is just a question of planning. "I work in an office full time, teach yoga 7-8 hours a week and write a blog. So if I manage to cook most of my meals, then so do you!" Connect with Kadri and enjoy many more of her delicious healthy recipes on her website here: www.kahvliga.ee.
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