You can assemble and refrigerate the eggplant halves up to a day in advance, then bake just before serving. If the stuffed eggplants are cold, you may need to cook them an extra five minutes.
- 3 medium eggplants, each cut in half lengthwise (about 3 pounds)
- Cooking spray
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped 33%-less-sodium ham
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1/4 cup chopped red bell pepper
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1/2 cup beer
- 1/2 pound medium shrimp, peeled, deveined, and coarsely chopped
- 2 1/2 ounces day-old French bread or other firm white bread
- 6 tablespoons (1 1/2-ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese, divided
- 1/4 cup finely chopped green onions
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 425°. Score cut side of each eggplant half in a crisscross pattern; lightly coat cut sides of eggplant halves with cooking spray. Place eggplant halves, cut sides down, on a baking sheet. Bake at 425° for 10 minutes. Turn eggplant halves over; bake an additional 10 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven; cool 10 minutes. Remove pulp from eggplant, leaving a (1/4-inch-thick) shell. Place eggplant shells on baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Chop pulp; set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°.
Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ham, 1/2 cup onion, bell pepper, and garlic; sauté 5 minutes. Add reserved eggplant pulp and beer; cook 10 minutes or until most of liquid evaporates, stirring occasionally. Stir in shrimp; cook 1 minute. Remove from heat.
Place bread in a food processor; process until coarse crumbs form. Add breadcrumbs, 3 tablespoons cheese, green onions, basil, tarragon, rind, salt, and black pepper to eggplant mixture; stir gently to combine. Mound about 1/2 cup shrimp mixture into each eggplant shell. Sprinkle each with 1 1/2 teaspoons cheese. Bake at 350° for 15 minutes or until thoroughly heated and shrimp are done.