Monday, May 30, 2011

First Sunday Lunch: Stuffed Eggplant with Moro de Guandules

On Sunday, our comedor (kitchen table) arrived and the fiance spent the afternoon putting it together.

Two of our friends came over on Sunday for our first big lunch together in the apartment! I made a big lunch with Stuffed Eggplant and Beans with Pigeon Peas (Moro de Guandules), which ended with Santo Libres (rum and 7up) and sitting on our roof, looking out at the ocean.

It was one of those oh so good kind of days.

The rice you see in the first picture is a typical Dominican dish. I love guandules, which are called "pigeon peas" in English. They are small and round beans that are similar in size and texture to lentils.

When the fiance and I go to his aunt's or mom's house for visits, there is always food involved. If rice and guandules are included, I tend to shamefully stuff my face with its delicious goodness. After about a year of desperate intervals in which I would (discreetly?) beg the fiance to request guandules if one of his relatives invited us over for lunch, I decided it was time to learn how to make them on my own. I started practicing in December, and now I have perfected my own breed of Moro de Guandules. "Moro" means that the beans and rice are cooked together, like you see in the picture.

Rice is such a staple part of the Dominican diet that I will spend some time devoting an entire section to different rice recipes. The next time that I make a Moro de Guandules, I will take pictures in every step of the process so you will see exactly how to make it. Consider this an "Introduction to Rice-Making".


Moro de Guandules

1 14 oz. can guandules verdes (green pigeon peas)
2 cups uncooked rice
3-4 cups water
3 tablespoons salt
4-5 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 onion, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil

First, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil on medium-high heat in a medium-sized pot. Here in the Dominican Republic, I use a "caldero" (picture coming soon), with a perfectly fitted top. Add the onions and stir frequently. When they are translucent, add the garlic for about 1 minute. Then, add the can of guandules and salt. Stir so that the onions and garlic do not stick to the bottom of the pot. Scoop your uncooked rice into the pot along with the water and stir again. Let the pot boil on medium-high heat for about 20 minutes, or until the rice has soaked up all of the water. Then, take a large spoon and scoop the rice off the sides of the pot so it is mounded together in the center. Sprinkle the second tablespoon of oil onto the top of the rice, lower the heat to low, and cover. Let the rice sit for another 15-20 minutes. When you take off the cover, the rice should be moist and fluffy.

Don't worry, cooking rice can be overwhelming at first. When I make this recipe again, pictures will be included and the step-by-step process will be easier to follow!

Stuffed Eggplant

3 eggplants
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1 tomato, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 egg
1/2 pound cheese of your choice (mozzarella)
2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
2 tablespoons oregano
2 teaspoons salt
1 tablespoon pepper

First, cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. Spoon out the pulp, chop it up, and set it aside. Reserve the eggplant shells on a large plate, and sprinkle with a dash of salt and oregano. Heat the olive oil in a pan on medium heat and then add the eggplant pulp, onion, tomato, red bell pepper, and garlic. Sautée until the vegetables are tender. Then, remove from heat and mix in the egg, 1/4 of the cheese, and the seasonings (basil, oregano, salt, pepper).

Now spoon the mixture evenly into the 6 eggplant shells. Place each one on a single lightly greased baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for about 25 minutes or until the shells are tender. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top of the eggplant halves and broil until the cheese has melted. Serves 6.

a buen tiempo!


  1. I love your rice and beans!!!!!!

  2. Great post! The "oh so good day" sounded OH SO GOOD! I am so happy for you and your wonderful life! Can't wait to get some of that Lizzy cooking when I get there :-) (yes I am inviting myself over hahaha) BESOS!

  3. Paloma! Thank you!!! When can I expect your arrival back to Santo Domingo?! And of course you are coming over! Can't wait to see you soon!