Mediterranean lamb in baked eggplant

Preparation time:
15 mins
Cooking time:
50 mins
Serves:
6-8
Rating:
(5)
The secret to the success of this Middle Eastern favourite is in the slow-cooking. It's worth the wait!
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Ingredients

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
Notes

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

Method

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.

Tips:

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.

[[image:14088172]]

  • Author:
  • Stylist: Caroline Velik
  • Photographer: Marina Oliphant
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1 Comments

  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???

    Reply

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