Eggplants stuffed with lamb, rice and zesty herbs
( SERVES 4 )
Eggplant and lamb is a great combo! Its a common pairing in Middle Eastern dishes. I wanted to create a stuffed eggplant dish with ground lamb which gave this dish a rich flavor and went very well with the mint and orange zest I added. A simple recipe but doesn't disappoint! Enjoy!
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees. Slice the eggplants in half and score them making sure not to slice the outside skin. Drizzle the eggplants with half the olive oil and salt. Bake for 25 minutes or until soft in the center.
- Meanwhile, on the stove top, heat a large deep pan. Add remaining olive oil and sauté ginger and onion for 5-6 minutes on medium heat until lightly caramelized. Add the lamb mince and cook until it is no longer pink. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in rice and chicken stock and bay leaf. Cover for 20 minutes and cook on medium heat. After 20 minutes uncover the lamb and rice mixture and continue to cook until rice is al dente and liquid is almost evaporated.
- Remove eggplants from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes. Scoop the center of the eggplants and add to the lamb and rice mixture reserving the skins for later. Zest the orange and roughly chop herbs. Add half the orange zest and half the herbs to the pan and gently stir until all ingredients are well incorporated. Taste and season with additional salt and pepper if necessary.
- Remove the bay leaf and using a tablespoon stuff a good amount of filling into each eggplant shell. Turn the oven setting to grill and on the top shelf grill the eggplants until golden brown. Garnish the eggplants with the remaining zest and herbs.