Turkish Stuffed Aubergine

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Recipe by Amanda DeLaura

Warm, soothing, and stuffed with a heavy hand of spice and flavor. These baked aubergine satisfy hearty, seasonal cravings and provide everything you want in a well-balanced baked casserole dish: protein, carbohydrates, and lots of veggies. Happy cooking and bon appétit!

Makes 6 servings

Ingredients:

3 aubergine (eggplants) 

1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 tsp salt

1 yellow onion

2 large tomatoes

1 lb ground lamb

2 finely chopped bell peppers

3 minced cloves of garlic

2 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp ground chili powder

1 tsp ground paprika

2 Tbsp tomato paste

2 Tbsp goji berries

2 tsp real salt

1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper

1 cup cooked white or brown rice

1 bunch minced parsley (reserve 1 Tbsp for garnish)

2 cups Greek yogurt

Juice from 1 lemon

2 Tbsp roasted pine nuts, hazelnuts or almonds

1 bunch of micro broccoli greens

1 Tbsp reserved minced parsley

Directions:

  1. To prepare the eggplants, slice them in half lengthwise. Scoop the insides out, leaving about 1/2 inch around the parameter of the eggplant. I use an ice-cream scooper as the angle and sturdiness of the utensil allows for a sharper and cleaner cut through the eggplant. A standard spoon will do. Drizzle 1/4 cup olive oil over the six eggplant halves and massage it into the eggplant. Sprinkle 1/2 tsp salt over the eggplants and set aside.
  2. To prepare the stuffing, grate the onion and tomatoes into a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients and combine well with your hands (reserving 1 Tbsp of minced parsley). I like to use disposable gloves as it omits the laborious step of meticulously cleaning the undersides of your finger nails (gross!). Scoop the lamb filling equally into the six eggplant boats and place the boats in a deep baking dish or large Dutch oven. Pour 1/2 cup water into the bottom of the dish and cover or wrap with aluminum foil. Bake at 325ºF for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the ground lamb is cooked and the eggplants are completely softened.
  3. If serving buffet style, spread 2 cups Greek yogurt over the base of the serving dish. Carefully arrange the stuffed aubergine on top of the yogurt and evenly drizzle with the juice of 1 lemon. Garnish as desired with 2 Tbsp of chopped nuts, 1 Tbsp parsley, and 1 handful of microgreens.

1 Comment

This recipe sounds delicious and one that I plan on trying. However, did I miss the part about what is done with the eggplant insides? Do I use that as part of the stuffing?

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