Southwestern Eggplant Dressing

Southwestern Eggplant Dressing--Serve as a vegetarian entree or add sausage on the side for meat lovers

We’ve been binge-watching the TV series Heartland the past few cold, winter days. Unlike Downton Abby where the elderly Dowager Countess of Grantham seems to get the best lines, the young neighbor girl Mallory often offers opinions no adults would dare speak. For example:  “What is this stuff?” as she looks down at her plate. When told it was Shepherd’s Pie, she remarked, “It looks more like something the shepherd stepped in.”

I hope this doesn’t look that bad, but I admit cooked eggplant is the opposite of photogenic. Is there a word for that? Can somebody help me? In ultrasound, we call it “ultrasound ugly.” Maybe we could call eggplant “food ugly.”

But I won’t let the unfortunate appearance of eggplant keep me from eating it. If you are tired of green beans, broccoli, and carrots, you might try eggplant in this scrumptious vegetable casserole. I only call it dressing because it includes cornbread crumbs. You could just as easily use rice or quinoa in place of the cornbread.

Southwestern Eggplant Dressing

I’m not a fan of boiled eggplant as called for in so many eggplant recipes. I much prefer to grill it using a grill pan so it doesn’t get mushy. In the absence of a grill pan, saute the eggplant in a skillet brushed with olive oil.

Southwestern Eggplant -- when grilled in a grill pan or skillet, eggplant doesn't get soft and mushy like it does when boiled.

I am always looking for ways to trim calories so I’m rather sparing with the cheese. Otherwise, I would stir an additional two ounces of shredded Cheddar into the casserole just before baking.

Southwestern Eggplant Dressing
 
Author:
Recipe type: Vegetarian Entree or Sidedish
 
Ingredients
  • 1 small to medium eggplant, cooked and diced
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • ½ cup chopped onions
  • ½ cup chopped celery
  • ¼ cup chopped red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 4 ounce button or portobello mushrooms, sliced or chopped
  • 1 teaspoon ground sage
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 cup lowfat milk
  • 1 4 oz. can green chilies
  • 1 cup fresh or frozen and thawed corn
  • 1-1/2 cups crumbled, stale cornbread
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
Instructions
  1. Use greased grill pan or skillet to cook peeled and sliced eggplant, flipping when browned. See picture above. Set aside.
  2. Melt butter in large skillet. Add onions, celery, peppers, and garlic and saute until soft. Add mushrooms and sage to skillet and cook another 3-4 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle flour over cooked veggies. Stir to distribute evenly. Add milk and continue to stir until thickened. Add cooked and chopped eggplant, green chilies, corn and cornbread crumbs, stirring gently. Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Cook at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Sprinkle cheese over the top during the last 10 minutes.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Bobbie Bentneedle February 24, 2015 at 8:38 am

My husband’s beloved grandma used to make eggplant dressing – and I’ve missed it for years now. Don’t think this is the same recipe as her’s since she used stovetop stuffing mix in her’s but this sounds mighty tasty, so I’ll try this out on the clan ;0}

Reply

Paula February 25, 2015 at 5:42 pm

Bobbie,
For years, Wyatt’s cafeteria used to make an eggplant dressing with white bread. I think it was quite popular. Wonder if Grandma’s recipe was anything like that one. Thanks for writing.

Reply

Tammy March 23, 2016 at 11:21 am

The Wyatts eggplant dressing is what I want to make!! It wascso good..do yiu have tge recipe??

Reply

Paula March 25, 2016 at 2:47 pm

That was a good recipe. I used to have it but can’t find it now. Did you try to Google it? paula

Reply

Betty February 23, 2015 at 9:44 pm

Eggplant in its natural state is one of the most beautiful vegetables ever- so many gorgeous shades of purple and pink. Cooked eggplant however will never win any beauty contest, but I can forgive it because it is just so delicious! This sounds like a great way to prepare it. 🙂

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