Middle Eastern Eggplant with Spiced Mince
It doesn’t get much better than roasted on the outside and smooth, silky, squidgy on the inside eggplant. This is my version of a traditional dish that I can’t pass on the menu anytime I go out for middle eastern food.
Here’s what you’ll need:
For the eggplants 3 small-medium eggplants 1 cup of water For the mince 500g grass-fed beef mince 2 tbsp tomato paste 1 tbsp cumin powder 1/2 tsp chilli powder 1 tsp allspice 1 brown onion, finely chopped 3 garlic cloves, crushed Extra virgin olive oil 1/2 cup beef broth/stock 4 large tomatoes, chopped into cubes For the tahini yoghurt 2/3 cup natural yoghurt Juice of one lemon 2 tbsp hulled tahini 1/2 garlic clove, minced A little water to thin out Salt/pepper to taste To serve Fresh mint and parsley Pine nuts Method:
1. Preheat your oven to 180c. 2. Add the eggplants to a deep baking tray and pour over one cup of water. Cover the baking tray with a sheet of alfoil and place the tray in the oven. Leave to cook for 1 hour. 3. While the eggplant is cooking, add a big gulg of olive oil to a frying pan and brown the onion and garlic until soft and golden. Add the mince and cook until brown over a medium heat. Then add the tomato paste, chopped tomatoes, stock and spices. Season with plenty of salt and pepper. Turn the heat to the lowest setting and leave to gently cook with a lid on while the eggplants cook. 4. Once the eggplants are ready (they should be soft and starting to collapse - you may need to cook for a little longer if not quite done), pour away any remaining water and then slice the eggplants down the middle. 5. Gently openly the splits in the eggplant and fill with the mince. Drizzle with olive oil and put back in the oven at 200c for another 25-30 mins. The mince should be starting to brown on top. 6. To make the dressing simply mix all the ingredients together, adding a little water at a time till you get your desired consistency. 7. Once the mince and eggplants are cooked, remove the baking tray from the oven and drizzle with the dressing.
Top with fresh mint, parsley and pine nuts. We served ours with rice and salad.
* I should add that the mince easily makes enough to stuff four eggplants, my tray just wasn't big enough. So add an extra eggplant or save any remaining mince for meals later in the week, or freeze for a rainy day.