Val always made this with the Italian-style eggplants commonly found at the supermarket. Over the years I have played with the technique; separating the egg yolks and whites, making a béchamel with flour and milk, adding the yolks to that before stirring in the eggplant, onions, and mushrooms, and finally folding in egg whites beaten stiff. However, Val’s recipe was for a pudding not a soufflé and why mess with a very good thing? It’s delicate, relatively low in fat and quick to make compared to many of the other eggplant preparations I like.
2 medium sized eggplants
12 ounces of white mushrooms, sliced
2 tbl butter
1 large onion, cut into small dice
1 clove garlic, crushed
4 large eggs
Salt and pepper to taste
Butter for greasing the baking dish
¼ cup breadcrumbs
2 tbl melted butter
½ cup grated Parmesan
2 tbl minced parsley
Peel and cut the eggplant into large dice. Steam until very soft. Set aside to cool.
Melt the butter and sauté the onions until translucent, add the mushrooms and continue to cook until they have released their juices and then browned. Add a crushed clove of garlic. Cool and season assertively with salt and pepper.
Using an egg beater or mixer, “spruggle” the eggplant into a smooth texture and then add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in the sautéed mushroom-onion mixture. Add up to a half-cup of dry breadcrumbs if the mixture seems watery. Grease and bake in an ovenproof dish, using either a ceramic soufflé dish or a gratin that has more surface if you like lots of crusty top. Sprinkle the surface with the buttered breadcrumbs. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes to an hour. Val used to slip a thin bladed knife in the center. If it felt piping hot when lightly touched to her lips it was ready.