Melanzane In Porchetta
- 2 pounds Japanese eggplant
- Salt to taste
- 2 cups fresh bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons finely-chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon finely-chopped fennel fronds
- 1/2 tablespoon finely-chopped garlic
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
- 1 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Make cut along length of each eggplant but do not cut clear through, so eggplants look like open books. Score each "page" with sharp knife, making diagonal cuts 1/4-inch deep in one direction, then repeating crosswise to make diamonds. Lightly salt and place eggplants, open, in colander to drain 30 minutes.
Grill skin side and flesh side of each eggplant over hot coals or on grill pan set over medium heat, 2 1/2 minutes each side. Turn them gently; you want them to retain their shape for stuffing. Cool.
In bowl, mix bread crumbs, parsley, fennel, garlic, salt and pepper. Stir in 1/2 cup olive oil. Stuff eggplants with bread-crumb mixture, about 3 tablespoons each. (If you notice many seeds in eggplants, remove them.)
Close eggplants and place in baking dish with remaining oil. Cover with foil and bake at 325 degrees until tender, about 1 hour, turning once after 30 minutes.
This recipe yields 4 servings.
Each serving: 611 calories; 875 mg sodium; 1 mg cholesterol; 55 grams fat; 28 grams carbohydrates; 5 grams protein; 2.56 grams fiber.