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I also made this dish and followed the directions per the recipe and found this to be a delightful recipe. I would never post a review of a recipe that had components that I did not like. Obviously making this recipe with cider vinegar instead of Balsamic would make a huge, possibly game changing alteration. Also Chicken stock for vegetable...see above comment. It maddens me to hear people preface a review with "I don't like the ingredients" and then say "I borked up the recipe because I can't substitute correctly". Why not just brown some ground beef and and mix in a can of corn and season salt it-put some american cheese slices over that... Sorry to rage but I have been seeing this for years on these sites and enough is enough.
I am not a huge fan of eggplant or kale, but we received both many times with our CSA package. After using only one decent recipe from Rachel Ray for kale and bacon and making the very time consuming eggplant parmesan, I was looking for something that had both kale and eggplant as I was getting 2 more eggplants in my CSA package this week and kale was going to go bad soon. So, since I am not a huge fan of kale or eggplant, that is why I give this recipe 3 stars. If you like both, then you may rate it higher. It was pretty tasty and probably the best that both ingredients could get other than frying the kale in bacon fat and soaking the eggplant in olive oil, bread crumbs, and egg for eggplant parmesan. I did have to make some substitutions. No onion--I was out. Garlic powder for the real thing--again I was out. Italian seasoning for oregano. Cider vinegar for balsamic vinegar. Chicken stock for vegetable stock. White rice for brown rice. This recipe made A LOT! I think it would probably be super yummy on a toasted hoagie with melted mozzarella or provolone as Ilysse suggests, so that is my plan to use up the rest. Doesn't cheese make almost everything taste better?