All-star stuffed eggplant recipe with a Middle Eastern twist. Roasted eggplant stuffed with a fragrant mixture of spiced meat, fine bulgur and pine nuts.
- 2 large eggplants, stems removed, halved
- Private Reserve extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, shredded (about 1/2 cup packed shredded yellow onion)
- 2 large garlic clove, chopped
- 3/4 lb lean ground beef (you can use ground turkey or lamb as well)
- 1 tsp ground allspice, divided
- 1 tsp ground cinnamon, divided
- 1/4 cup extra fine bulgur, soaked in 1/4 cup hot water for 10 minutes then drained (bulgur must be extra fine)
- 1/2 cup packed chopped fresh parsley
- 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
- 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
- 1 cup water
- 1 red onion, sliced into rings
Topping suggestions (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Place the eggplant, flesh side up, on a large tray. Sprinkle flesh with salt and set aside for 20 minutes so that the eggplant "sweats" its bitter juices. Over the sink, gently squeeze the eggplant to extract bitter juices. Wipe dry.
- Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly oil. Cut 3 slits or shallow lines into the eggplant flesh, then brush generously with olive oil. Lay on the prepared tray, flesh-side down. Drizzle more extra virgin olive oil on top. Roast in heated oven for 30 minutes or until flesh is tender and deeply browned (but not burned).
- While eggplant is roasting, make the meat stuffing mixture. In a large heavy skillet, heat 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add ground beef, onions and garlic. Brown beef mixture over medium-high heat until fully cooked through. Season the meat mixture with salt and pepper, 1/2 tsp allspice, and 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon. Remove from heat. Squeeze any excess water out of bulgur, then add to the meat mixture. Add chopped parsley and pine nuts. Give the mixture a good stir. Taste and adjust salt if needed (do not over-salt, especially if using salted tomato sauce later)
- When eggplant is ready, remove from oven and set aside briefly. Lower oven temperature to 375 degrees F.
- In a small bowl, mix the tomato sauce, water, and remainder of cinnamon and allspice.
- Place red onion slices on the bottom of a casserole dish like this one; top with 1/2 the tomato sauce mixture. Arrange the roasted eggplant on top.
- With the back of a spoon, gently push the eggplant flesh down to make room for the meat stuffing mixture. Spoon the meat stuffing mixture to fill the eggplant cavities you created. Top with the remainder of the tomato sauce mixture.
- Cover the casserole dish with foil. Bake in the 375 degrees F heated-oven for 20 to 25 minutes.
- Serve warm topped with your choice of Zhoug, Greek Tzataziki, or plain yogurt. Don't forget some warm pita bread or your choice of crusty bread to sop up the goodness!
- Category: Entree
- Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Keywords: stuffed eggplant, eggplant recipe, stuffed eggplant recipe, roasted eggplant recipe, easy eggplant recipe