I hope you are all ready for another delicious French specialty! This time I’m taking you to Corsica, a French Island in the South, very close to Italy. Corsica has amazing dishes and mostly cook mediterranean food, using of lot of olive oil, sheep cheese and sunny vegetables such as tomatoes and eggplants. Eggplants a la bonifacienne is a traditional recipe of the island and it’s an amazing dish that I really wanted to share with you. For this recipe, the skins of the eggplants are stuffed with a mix of eggplant, bread, cheese and a lot of onion and garlic. It’s very flavorful and it makes an amazing appetizer or main dish.
This recipe calls for a blend of 3 different kind of cheese and mostly sheep as this is Corsica’s specialty. French cheese is a quite expensive in Canada and I couldn’t find all the cheeses I wanted so I decided to go for a mix of pecorino romano, grana padano and goat cheddar. The essential is that you get a couple goat or sheep cheeses, so pecorino is a must and manchego or any semi-hard or semi-soft goat cheeses will do as well. Also, traditionally, the eggplants are fried but I must say that I’m not a big fan of fried food so I prefer baking them instead. Both versions are good but the texture will differ a bit. When fried, the eggplants get crispy on the outside and when baked, the eggplants will remain soft. This is a very flavorful recipe that requires a bit of preparation but that is a must try!
Let’s start cooking!
Ingredients (for 6 persons):
- 6 small eggplants
- 1 egg
- 200 g cheese (I used pecorino, grana padano and goat cheddar)
- 150 g of the soft part of the bread
- 25 cl milk
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 onion
- Fresh basil
- Salt and peper
- Tomato sauce
1- Cut the top part of the eggplants and cut them in half. Bring a big pot of salted water to boil and cook the eggplants until the inside is soft. You can check the eggplants with a tooth pick. Drain the water and let the eggplants cool down.
2- Cut the crust of the bread and soak the soft part in milk. Carefully scoop the flesh of the eggplants and try not to break the skins. Let the flesh drain of the remaining water in a strainer.
3- Put the 3 kinds of cheese in a food processor until you get a thin crumble. Put the cheese aside and add the onion in the food processor until it is thinly chopped. Chop the garlic cloves and cut some basil leaves thinly.
4- In a large bowl, add the flesh of the eggplants and mash it with a fork. Drain the bread from the milk, cut in small pieces and add in the bowl. Add in the onion, cheese, garlic, basil and the egg. Season with salt and pepper to taste and mix well until you get a homogeneous and firm mixture.
5- Add the mixture in each eggplant skin. Make sure that they are well filled.
6- You can cook them 2 ways. By frying: add about 20 cl of olive oil in a pan and fry each side for about 5-6 min. By baking: Place the stuffed eggplants on a baking sheet, drizzle some olive oil on them and bake for 30 min at 360 F. Then broil them for a couple minutes until you get a nice coloration. Serve them covered of tomato sauce and with a side of rice.
Eggplants a la bonifacienne is a very delicious recipe that is perfect for summer and will be liked by everyone. It’s a very flavorful dish and it can be eaten as an appetizer or a main.
I hope you will enjoy this recipe! Let me know in the comment section what you think about this recipe and if you liked it.