The Romanians truly love to stuff things, as we explored earlier. This time we present a recipe for the salad course, rosii umplute cu vinete, a fresh tomato stuffed with roasted eggplant.
For a satisfying and very healthy first course it is tough to beat rosii umplute cu vinete. Served on top a bed of fresh salad greens, the freshness and interesting flavor combinations of this dish made a great start for our Romanian meal.
Rosii umplute cu vinete
(adapted from The Art of Romanian Cooking by Galia Sperber)
- 1 small eggplant
- 1 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 medium onion, diced
- 2 Tbs parsley, chopped
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 4 small round tomatoes, preferably firm
First, the eggplant (about the size of one of those little Nerf footballs) was wrapped in foil:
…and put into a preheated 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes, until it felt soft when poked. Unwrapped, it looked like this:
Allowed to cool long enough that it could be handled, the eggplant was peeled:
…and cut into about a half inch dice. The eggplant, onion, olive oil, parsley, salt, and pepper were mixed in a bowl:
…and were set aside, awaiting their containment vessel.
Next, we were ready to deal with the tomatoes:
First the top was cut from each tomato:
Then, using a paring knife, a cut was made along the inside edge of the tomato to loosen the insides from the tomato body:
Continued with each tomato:
…we were ready to remove the guts with a spoon. Careful not to breach the body of each tomato, the insides were scooped out and discarded:
The tomatoes were then stuffed with the eggplant mixture and placed atop a bed of mixed greens dressed simply with lemon juice, olive oil, salt, and pepper:
The eggplant stuffing in these tomatoes is surprisingly filling and satisfying and put an interesting twist on the salad course of our Romanian meal.
More from our Romanian meal: ardei umpluti.