Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts

This is a great recipe from Jerusalem by Ottolenghi and Samimi. I did not have the tamarind paste so used an extra teaspoon of lemon juice and an extra teaspoon of tomato paste because tamarind is tart. The stuffing is delicious! Used this to eat up my last eggplants of the season. Fall is the BEST time for eggplant.

2015_eggplant

Ingredients:

4 medium eggplants (about 2 1/2 lbs)

6 tbsp olive oil (divided use)

1 1/2 tsp ground cumin

1 1/2 tbsp sweet paprika

1 tbsp ground cinnamon

2 med onions (12 oz total)

1 lb ground lamb

7 tbsp pine nuts

2/3 oz flat leaf parsley

2 tsp tomato paste

3 tsp superfine sugar

2/3 c water

1 1/2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tsp tamarind paste

4 cinnamon sticks

salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Place the eggplant halves, skin side down, in a roasting pan large enough to accomodate them snugly. Brush the flesh with 4 tbsp of the olive oil and season with 1 tsp salt and plenty of black pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes, until golden brown. Let cool slightly.

While eggplants are cooking, start making the sugging by heating the remaining 2tbsp olive oil in a large frying pan. Mix together the cumin, paprika and groung cinnamon and add half of this spice mix to the pan, along with the onions. Cook over medium-high heat for about 8 minutes, stirring often, before adding the lamb, pine nuts, parsley and tomato paste, 1 tsp of the sugar, 1 tsp salt and some black pepper. Cook and stir for another 8 minutes, until the meat is cooked.

Place the remaining spice mix in a bowl and add the water, lemon juice, tamarind, the remaining 2 tsp sugar, the cinnamon sticks and 1/2 tsp salt, mix well.

Reduce the oven temp to 325 degrees. Pour the spice mix into the bottom of the eggplant roasting pan. Spoon the lamb mixture on top of each eggplant. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil, return to the oven, and roast for 1 1/2 hours, by which point the eggplants should be completely soft and the sauce thick. Twice during the cooking, remove the foil and baste the eggplants with the sauce, adding some water if the sauce dries out. Serve warm, not hot, or at room temperature.

Enjoy!

submitted by Allison Liddell