Stuffed Eggplant With Walnuts
- 1/2 cup medium-grind bulgur
- Kosher salt
- 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling
- 3 Japanese eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 2/3 cup walnut pieces
- 1/2 small red onion, roughly chopped
- 1 stalk celery, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 clove garlic, smashed
- 1 cup packed fresh cilantro
- 3 tablespoons fresh tarragon
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- Freshly ground pepper
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese
Put the bulgur in a bowl and add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 cup boiling water. Cover and let sit until the bulgur is tender and the water is absorbed, about 30 minutes. Fluff with a fork.
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Lay the eggplant halves cut-side down in the skillet and season with salt, then place another skillet on top and weigh it down with large cans. Cook until the eggplant is soft and golden brown, about 6 minutes. Uncover, flip the eggplant and season with salt, then cover, weigh down and cook about 5 more minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to cool.
Pulse the walnuts, onion, celery and garlic in a food processor until coarsely chopped. Add the cilantro, tarragon and coriander and pulse until smooth. Add the bulgur and vinegar and pulse once or twice to combine. Add 1 teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Spread the bulgur mixture evenly on the cut sides of 3 eggplant halves; sandwich with the remaining halves. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 1 hour.
Slice the stuffed eggplant into pieces, sprinkle with the feta and drizzle with olive oil.
Photographs by Con Poulos
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