I recently delved into the world of stuffed eggplant. It’s a wonderful world full of delicious possibilities! In order to stuff an eggplant, you first have to hollow it out properly (without removing too much eggplant “meat” and without cutting through the skin). Since this seemed fairly daunting to me and I had to go to the internet in search of how to do it, it seemed like something that would be useful to have on here for when people are looking to make any of the stuffed eggplant recipes that are posted (and will be posted later).
Step One: You need an eggplant (duh, I know, but hey – it has to be said).
Step Two: Leaving the stem on (it’s needed for the eggplant skins to remain stable while roasting and also makes them look nicer in the end), use a large, sharp chef’s knife to cut the eggplant evenly in half, like so:
Step Three: Ok, this is where it gets mildly tricky. Using a smaller sharp knife (paring knife works perfectly), slice around the edge of the eggplant, leaving ~1/4″ perimeter of eggplant on the skin. When doing this, be careful not to stick the knife down too far so as not to pierce the skin on the bottom. When you’re done, it will look like this: (don’t worry if your line is a bit jagged. It makes no difference after they’re roasted and no one will ever know)
Step Four: Using the same smaller sharp knife, slice a line down the middle of the center portion of eggplant (again, be careful not to cut into the skin on the bottom) and then cut several times across the other direction in the center portion of eggplant, so as to end up with numerous chunks of eggplant in the center. See photo below, which explains this way better than my description:
Step Five: Use your fingers to pull out the chunks from the middle, again being careful not to rip through the skin on the bottom. Don’t worry if it doesn’t pull out beautifully or evenly, and you end up with an uneven surface on the bottom inside of the eggplant skin. Step 6 takes care of that. When you’re done pulling the chunks out, it should look like this: (remember, it doesn’t matter how unattractive it might look right now. Roasting is going to take care of that)
Step Six: If the bottom inside the eggplant skin is uneven (and it almost certainly will be unless you’re some kind of eggplant ninja, in which case you wouldn’t need to be following this tutorial, so…), take a spoon and scrape the bottom until it looks more even, like this: (don’t go too crazy scraping on the bottom though, since you do want a little bit of eggplant “meat” down there, not just skin. And again, it doesn’t matter if it looks brown and/or unattractive in general, because roasting is going to get rid of all of that)
So there you have it! Repeat this for the other eggplant halves and then you’re ready to roast them and stuff them. How you roast them depends on the recipe you’re using for what you’re stuffing them with. The eggplant above was used for my Roasted Eggplant Skins Stuffed w/Cheesy Veggie Risotto, seen here: (see what I mean about roasting taking care of everything?)