- 2 h 20 min
When you combine rice with one of the most famous ingredients in the Sicilian culinary tradition, what you get is a dish that’s bursting with all the flavors of southern Italy. Eggplants provide the perfect base for this delicious tomatoey rice full of melting scamorza cheese that you’ll get to enjoy bite after bite. Whether stuffed with meat, vegetables, pasta, or rice, stuffed vegetables are one of those dishes of days gone by that bring back memories of childhood and lunchtimes at Grandma’s. This cheesy rice-stuffed eggplant is great served for a Sunday lunch and is sure to get the whole family around the table in a flash!
To prepare your cheesy rice-stuffed eggplant, first make the vegetable broth that you will need later on for the rice. Meanwhile, prepare the eggplants by washing them, drying them with paper towel, trimming them, and cutting them in half lengthwise 1. Take a small knife with a sharp blade and make an incision between the skin and the flesh 2. Continue making this incision, following the outline of the eggplant and applying slight pressure 3 to separate the flesh from the skin without breaking it.
Cut the flesh into cubes 4 and fry them in plenty of hot oil 5. The recommended temperature for dry frying is 340-350°F (170-180°C) (use a thermometer to measure this). Once the eggplant cubes are nicely browned, drain them and place them on a paper towel 6. Salt to taste.
Fry the eggplant skins that you put aside earlier 7 separately in the peanut oil. As soon as they’re golden brown 8, drain them on a tray using paper towels 9.
Set the eggplants aside while you prepare your rice. Finely chop the shallot 10 and gently fry in a pan with the oil. Once it has softened, add the rice 11 and toast for a few minutes, stirring frequently 12.
Once the rice has changed color, deglaze with the white wine 13, then add the tomato puree 14 and a pinch of salt. Stir, then add the hot broth a little at a time 15 until the rice is cooked. This should take around 20 minutes.
Once the rice is ready, add the Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 16, reserving around ½ cup (50 g) to sprinkle over the eggplant. Stir, then transfer the rice to a bowl. Tear the basil leaves 17 and add them together with the eggplant cubes 18 to the bowl.
Arrange the fried eggplant skins in a casserole dish and start layering your filling. First, add 1 tablespoon of rice 19, then a slice of scamorza cheese 20, followed by another tablespoon of rice 21.
Finish by sprinkling the eggplant with the reserved Parmigiano Reggiano cheese 22 and broil at 460°F (240°C) for around 4-5 minutes. Remove from the oven 23 and serve your cheesy rice-stuffed eggplant hot 24.
Store your cheesy rice-stuffed eggplant for up to 1 day in the refrigerator. Not recommended for freezing.
Caciocavallo, smoked scamorza, and provola are the perfect cheeses to ensure a stringy filling! We don’t recommend using mozzarella or any other kind of dairy product because it releases its whey during the cooking process, which can ruin the end result.