Eggplant Stuffed with Lamb and Pine Nuts

Stuffed eggplant with lamb and pine nuts

I love eggplant and I have an affection for uniting lamb and eggplant. The silky texture of the eggplant paired with warm and cozy middle eastern spices is the consummate one baking pan meal. This recipe was inspired by Ottolenghi, from his book “Jerusalem.”

This Mediterranean style of stuffing an eggplant is a little different than the typical method of stuffing eggplant in New Orleans style. If you have tried my recipe for stuffed eggplant, you will see that I roast the eggplant and remove and scoop out the soft flesh inside of the eggplant. Then I cook the pulp from the eggplant with onion, garlic, celery and bell pepper, ground meat, or shrimp, and stuff this savory mixture back into the eggplant shell or skin to bake and serve. I also love to make a traditional Greek moussaka with lamb or ground beef or a combination of the two.

In this recipe for eggplant stuffed with lamb and pine nuts, the eggplants are roasted until they begin to turn golden and collapse. The lamb is sautéed separately with cumin, cinnamon, and sweet paprika. Smoky paprika would be good with the lamb and eggplant too. Pine nuts and cilantro enrich the lamb saute.  Then the lamb mixture is placed on top of the roasted eggplants. Before placing the eggplants back in the roasting pan or baking dish, Ottolenghi recommends making a basting sauce. The sauce combines tamarind paste with cinnamon, lemon, sugar, and water.

The sauce is poured into the bottom of the pan, and the eggplants are placed on top of the liquid. The pan is covered tightly with foil and the eggplants are returned to the oven for an hour to bake. Halfway through the baking process, you can baste the eggplant with the tamarind sauce.

The eggplants are silky and the lamb is moist and aromatic. This is a nice change from a traditional stuffed eggplant recipe and can easily feed 4 people as a main course.


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