Instead of peeling eggplants for a casserole, I prefer to cut them in half, scoop out the flesh and use the shell as a container for a meat or vegetable stuffing.
After baking or blanching, they don’t retain that pretty purple, white or green color, but I like the idea of the individual servings plus it’s nice to freeze them separately and take out what you need when ready to eat them.
I select the small to medium-size eggplants for stuffing because they’re better portion size. If you have large eggplants, you can still stuff the halves and cut them into serving size after they’re baked. Any leftover stuffing can be baked separately.
Some people do not blanch the shells before stuffing them but since I usually put a few in the freezer, I blanch the shells by dipping into boiling water for a couple of minutes.
In this case, you are not eating the shell; it’s simply a holder.
Corinne Cook is a columnist for The Advocate. Reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.