Mediterranean lamb in baked eggplant

Preparation time:
15 mins
Cooking time:
50 mins
The secret to the success of this Middle Eastern favourite is in the slow-cooking. It's worth the wait!


6 Tbsp olive oil
4 cloves garlic, finely sliced
600g lamb mince
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp chilli flakes
1 Tbsp dried mint
2 handfuls fresh breadcrumbs
1 egg
¼ bunch parsley, leaves picked
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to season
4 eggplants
100g parmesan, grated
500ml chicken stock
3 Tbsp tomato paste
400g can chopped tomatoes
40ml extra virgin olive oil
2 fresh bay leaves
Extra parsley, chopped, to serve
Steamed rice, to serve

You can use minced chicken instead of the lamb. Or, for a vegie version, stuff with cous cous or quinoa.


1. Preheat oven to 200°C.

2. Heat oil in a small heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat. Add garlic and cook until golden. Set aside.

3. Put lamb, garlic, cinnamon, chilli, mint, breadcrumbs, egg and parsley in a food processor and process until a smooth paste forms. Season well.

4. Halve eggplant lengthways. Using a melon baller, scoop out about ½ the flesh to leave a cavity. Set aside.

5. Season inside each eggplant half, then spoon equal amounts of lamb mixture into each cavity. Top each half with a little cheese. Put eggplant in a baking dish and bake for 10 minutes. Reduce oven temperature to 170°C.

6. Combine stock, tomato paste, tomatoes, eggplant balls and oil. Pour mixture around eggplant, but don’t cover entirely. Add bay leaves. Cover dish with a sheet of baking paper, then with foil and bake for 40 minutes.

7. To serve, sprinkle parsley over eggplant halves and spoon over any sauce. Serve with rice.


When choosing eggplant, look for firm, shiny, brightly coloured fruits that feel solid and heavy for their size. The fruit is fresh if the stalk is stout, firm and green.


  • Author:
  • Stylist: Caroline Velik
  • Photographer: Marina Oliphant
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  1. Ann Marie12:04pm Tuesday 10th July 2012 ESTReport Abuse

    Recipe sounds awesome, but what I really want is that PLATE!!!!! Where did you get that???


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