So what is it that I love so much about this stuffed eggplant recipe then? It’s very simple. It’s just that you can serve it as a side dish as well as a main course, with potatoes or fries! And even as a light vegetable lunch with a salad on the side if you like!
These also go by the name of berenjenas rellenas in Spanish.
And what an excellent stuffed eggplant recipe is this!
Are eggplants that popular in Spain?
I know, right.
When you think of Spanish cuisine and food, then you might not immediately think of eggplant dishes or eggplant recipes. However this stuffed eggplant recipe is a very popular one over there!
It is so popular that you can really call this a classic Spanish dish.
And because of that you will very often find these stuffed eggplants or berenjenas rellenas on a 3 course lunch menu, as a main course. Lots of Spanish delis also sell ready made stuffed eggplants. And that saves you quite some time preparing them from scratch at home!
Hang on, there’s nothing wrong with them.
In fact they are absolutely delicious!
Spanish Stuffed Eggplant Recipe
I do buy those from time to time and they are very good.
But once in a while I like to prepare this stuffed eggplant recipe all by myself at home. From scratch and homemade! It is not just something you can whip up in just a couple of minutes. It looks very straightforward but don’t let that fool you.
These stuffed eggplants actually contain 2 delicious layers. One layer of ground meat topped off with another layer of creamy bechamel white sauce.
And since you need to make those at the same time, it might be a tad time consuming. But nevertheless it is a very rewarding recipe to make once you tuck into your meal.
I always seem to make not enough of this stuff. That’s what the hubs always says. And that is quite something coming from him. Because actually he isn’t a big eggplant fan. But I know for a fact that he will never say no to these stuffed eggplants.
Ground Meat & Bechamel
So what is it about this stuffed eggplant recipe that makes it so addictive?
Even for a reluctant eggplant eater?
Well I think that it is the ground meat stuffing that is so good…
Especially with that creamy layer of white sauce on top! And then that grated cheese that has melted. Soft and smooth eggplants, ground meat, white sauce and melted cheese? Who could ever say no to a treat like this!
It’s almost like you eat a lasagna, but then without the pasta in it!
Do you often make white sauce at home? It’s quite easy to make. Here in Spain you can buy ready made bechamel. Just pour it on top of whatever you are making and you’re done.
Nothing wrong with that.
However I like to make béchamel white sauce from scratch though. It is so simple. And so are the ingredients that you need to make it. Butter, flour, milk. Pinch of salt, pepper and nutmeg. Easy as hell. I am sure that you have all those ingredients in your cupboard and fridge at this very moment even! Right?
What also goes into these stuffed eggplants is the eggplant meat that you have to scoop out in order to fill them up again later. Once you have added all the layers, just sprinkle the eggplants with grated cheese and then bake them in a hot oven.
What a great lunch idea this is!
Spanish Stuffed Eggplant Recipe
Yummy Spanish berenjenas rellenas!
- 1 large fresh eggplant
- 9 oz ground beef (250 g)
- 1 shallot chopped
- 1 small garlic clove chopped
- 4 tbsp canned chopped tomatoes
- a handful Emmental cheese grated
- 1 tsp dried herbs
- ⅓ cup whole milk (80 ml)
- ½ oz plain flour (15 g)
- ½ oz unsalted butter (15 g)
Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. With a spoon remove the inside but keep it aside until later. Try not to damage the skin or the mince filling will spill out.
Place the eggplant halves on an oven tray and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt. Bake the eggplant for about 30 minutes in a preheated oven at 356°F (180°C) until soft. Then let the roasted eggplant cool at room temperature. Heat a little olive oil in a large saucepan and add the chopped garlic and shallot.
Gently stir fry them for a minute. Then add the ground beef.
Brown the beef for a few minutes. Now add the tomatoes and eggplant you kept aside. Season with the dried herbs and a pinch of pepper and salt.
Stir well. Cover the saucepan and let the mince mixture simmer for about 8 minutes. We'll make the bechamel sauce now. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and add the flour.
Stir well. Bake the flour over low heat for about 2 minutes. Then turn the heat back up and then add the milk little by little.
At first the sauce will be thick and sticky. Keep adding extra milk until it's a little runnier.
Stir constantly. In the end you should end up with a fairly thick white sauce. Season to taste with nutmeg, pepper and salt.
Add a tablespoon of this bechamel sauce to the tomato filling.
Stir well. Check the seasoning of the mixture and also add extra pepper or salt. Then fill up the roasted eggplants.
Top with a layer of bechamel sauce and finish with some grated cheese and a last sprinkle of pepper and salt.
Bake the stuffed eggplants in a hot oven at 356°F (180°C) until golden. Serve hot.