Rinse eggplant under cold water and dry with a kitchen towel or paper towels.
Cut eggplant in half lengthwise. Then using the tip of a knife, score the flesh into a diamond cross-hatch pattern going about an inch deep making sure to not pierce the skin.
Transfer the eggplant halves cut side up onto a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Season evenly with the kosher salt. Let them sit for 30 minutes on the sheet pan.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (or 200 degrees C).
Over a kitchen sink, gently squeeze the eggplants to get the extra moisture out. Pat-dry the cut face of the eggplants using a paper towel.
Brush the halves evenly with olive oil. Arrange eggplants face down on the baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven for 45-60 minutes or until the eggplant collapses and the bottom side turns golden brown.
Let it cool on the counter for at least 20 minutes. Turn the cut side up and transfer them onto a serving platter to stuff.
To Make The Stuffing:
While the eggplant halves are roasting, make the bulgur pilaf. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add in onion and pepper and saute until translucent, 4 minutes. Add in tomato paste and stir constantly for a minute or until thoroughly incorporated into the vegetables and thickened.
Add in ground cumin, coarse bulgur, tomatoes, chickpeas, and water (or stock). Season with salt and pepper.
Give it a stir, bring it to a boil, put the lid on, turn down the heat to low. Let it simmer for 10-12 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed.
Off the heat, let it to rest for 10 minutes (with the lid on) and fluff it with a fork.
Fill each roasted eggplant half with bulgur pilaf.
Sprinkle with parsley and drizzle with tahini yogurt sauce if using. Serve immediately.
You can save time by roasting the eggplant halves a day in advance and storing them in an airtight container. When ready to stuff them, heat them in a 300 F oven for 10-15 minutes.
Arrange the eggplant halves in a baking dish to make it easier to stuff.
If you want to make this recipe gluten-free try it filling the eggplant halves with my Lemon Quinoa recipe instead.
Storage: In an airtight container, baked stuffed eggplant can last up to 4 days in the fridge. Just make sure you bring the aubergine halves to room temperature before storing them. To reheat, simply preheat the oven temperature to 300 degrees F. and cook the halves for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
Make Ahead: To eliminate the stress of weeknight cooking, you can make this dish in advance. Just cook the eggplant and bulgur wheat pilaf, store them in separate airtight containers, and assemble the eggplant halves right before serving. To reheat, bake the assembled halves in the oven at 350 degrees F. for 10-15 minutes, or until heated through.
Freezing: Both the flesh of the eggplant and eggplant shells are known to lose their shape and texture once exposed to extreme cold. To keep your eggplant skin as fresh as possible, I don’t recommend freezing them.