Cheesy Fried Zucchini Pockets And Skewered Eggplant Stuffed With Ground Beef

Zucchini and eggplant are 2 terrific vegetables that are as easy & fun to prepare as they are delicious. Although we love them no matter how they're served, these 2 recipes are going to take stuffed zucchini and eggplant to new heights. Our cheesy zucchini pockets are stuffed with red pesto and mozzarella pearls, coated in a light tempura batter, and deep fried, bringing you a deliciously inventive new appetizer idea. Up next are the stuffed eggplant skewers, which are sliced up and pulled apart to make room for a hearty ground beef filling. And did we mention they're topped off with tons of cheese?! You'll be impressed by how much of a punch these versatile veggies can pack!

Yield: 3 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy

1. Cheesy Deep-Fried Zucchini Pockets

You'll Need:

  • 1 zucchini
  • 2 tbsp red pesto
  • 5 mozzarella pearls
  • 10 stalks of fresh chives
  • ¾ cup flour
  • 1 egg
  • ¾ cup corn starch
  • ½ cup ice-cold water
  • ½ tsp salt

Here's How:

1.1 Use a vegetable peeler to slice the zucchini into long, thin slices. On a clean work surface, place 2 slices of zucchini on top of one another in the shape of a cross.

1.2 Spoon a small amount of pesto into the center of the crossed slices of zucchini and place 1 mozzarella pearl on top.

1.3 Fold the slices of zucchini up to make a small package that seals in the pesto and mozzarella, then tie up the stuffed zucchini pocket snugly with 2 chive stalks. Repeat this process with the remainder of the ingredients.

1.4 Heat a pot filled with cooking oil on the stove. For the tempura batter, whisk together the flour, egg, corn starch, ice-cold water, and salt. Once the cooking oil is hot, dip the stuffed zucchini pockets in the tempura batter and fry them in hot oil until they brown slightly.

2. Eggplant Skewers Stuffed With Ground Beef

You'll Need:

  • 1 eggplant
  • 12 oz ground beef
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 egg
  • paprika
  • 1 tbsp bread crumbs
  • chopped thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 cups pasta sauce
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 3 banana peppers
  • shredded mozzarella

Here's How:

2.1 Preheat the oven to 350°F. To prepare the eggplant, cut it horizontally into 2 equal pieces. Place 2 butter knives parallel to one another on a clean work surface and position the eggplant upright in between them. Make 4 evenly-spaced cuts in the eggplant, making sure to stop cutting when the knife hits the butter knives positioned around the eggplant.

2.2 Flip over the eggplant over and make 4 cuts in the sections between the cuts on the opposite side. Repeat this process with the second piece of eggplant, then soak the 2 pieces in salt water.

2.3 For the ground beef filling, combine the ground beef, diced onion, egg, paprika, bread crumbs, chopped thyme, and minced garlic in a large mixing bowl. Remove the sliced pieces of eggplant from the salt water, dry them off, and carefully pull them apart so that they expand without breaking. Using a fork, fill the gaps on both sides of the eggplants with the ground beef mixture.

2.4 Heat a skillet filled with a thin layer of vegetable oil on the stove, skewer the pieces of stuffed eggplant, and fry them on both sides.

2.5 Transfer the stuffed eggplant to a baking dish and pour the pasta sauce into the dish. Add a layer of diced tomatoes on top of the pieces of eggplant, sprinkle shredded mozzarella cheese on top, and place 3 banana peppers in the baking dish. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.

These 2 recipes are great ways to switch up your veggie routine and try out some delicious new dishes. The airy, light texture of the tempura batter combines with the flavor of the stuffed zucchini pockets to make a deliciously satisfying appetizer. And the stuffed, skewered eggplants are the perfect main course to follow them up with!

Get the recipe for the Grilled Eggplant & Zucchini Rose Tart featured in the bonus video.


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