Eggplant with Rice and Pumpkin Seeds (Austrian) – (Padlizsán páva módra – osztrák)

Eggplant Peacock Style (Russian) - (Padlizsán páva módra -orosz)
Ingredients: serves 4
2 young tender eggplants (each about 12 1/2 oz/ 35 dkg), 1 lemon, 4 tablespoon olive oil, 1 medium onion (1/2 tablespoon onion cream), 2 cloves garlic (1 teaspoon garlic cream), 1 large red pepper, 2-3 tablespoon pumpkin seeds, salt, ground black pepper, cardamom, 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese, 7 oz/20 dkg long grain rice (measured dry), 2 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil, pumpkin seed oil, toasted pumpkin seeds to serve

Wash and cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, scrape out the insides with a spoon, and dice into small cubes. Sprinkle with a bit of lemon juice to prevent it from turning brown. Put the eggplant shells into an oiled baking pan (you may sprinkle some lemon juice over these also). Bake in a preheated oven at (360°F/180°C; 330°F/165°C convection oven) for 10-15 minutes. Prepare the filling in the meantime.
Peel and clean the vegetables. Slice the onion and garlic thin, the paprika into small cubes. Brown in 2 tablespoon pumpkin seed oil along with the diced eggplant, shaking and stirring the pan. If using onion and garlic creams, add these to the vegetables after they have browned. Salt lightly, add pepper, and season with a little lemon juice and cardamom. Stir in the steamed rice and grated Parmesan. Fill the baked eggplant shells with the rice mixture and continue to bake another 15 minutes, sprinkling a few drops of water into the bottom of the pan. To serve, place half a stuffed eggplant on a plate, drizzle a little pumpkin seed oil around it, and sprinkle a few toasted seeds in the oil as garnish.

Smart Notes
Use of „green gold,” that is, pumpkin seed oil, is ever present in the kitchens of the Styria region of Austria. It is an essential ingredient in salads, soups,
main courses, even certain desserts (for example pumpkin seed biscuits, or pumpkin seed ice cream). In addition to food, the cult of the pumpkin is found among beverages also, for example, in the noted pumpkin beer, „Steirman.”

Preparation time: 1 hour
Calories per serving: 598
Skill: Easy to prepare