Simple Dinners 03 / Lamb Stuffed Eggplant

lamb stuffed eggplant with pomegranate

Quick little post from me today. I just wanted to pop in and share this recipe that is one of my new favourites for an easy and delicious dinner, because after I posted this photo on Instagram a few weeks ago, I’ve had quite a few people asking for it!

Anyone who knows me, knows I loooove eggplant in any form, so when I spotted this recipe in Yotam Ottolenghi’s beautiful new book Jerusalem, I knew I’d have to try it. I’ve now made it three times in the last three weeks, and am now totally fascinated by Middle Eastern cooking.

The lamb mince mixture comes together pretty quickly in a frypan, you can relax with a glass of wine while it bakes, and it makes for great leftovers the next day too – the kind that make your workmates jealous.

I adapted the original recipe slightly by upping the amount of spices and substituting a few ingredients for those which I had available. I also topped the cooked eggplant with a huge dollop of tzatziki (or Greek yoghurt would be great too) and some pomegranate arils for a bit of extra colour and crunch, which I think works so well.

And to keep it interesting, here are a few ways to mix it up!

  • Try stuffing other vegetable with the mixture – capsicum, zucchini, pumpkin or even figs (!!) would be delicious!
  • Add some chopped pistachios to the lamb mixture, and sprinkle on top
  • Add some chopped fresh or dried figs into the lamb mixture at the same time as the pine nuts
  • Use a different kind of mince – I think beef, or even chicken would be delicious as well

Lamb Stuffed Eggplant with Pomegranate
Adapted from ‘Jerusalem’ by Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi
Serves 4

  • 2 medium eggplants, cut in half lengthwise
  • Olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 2 teaspoons sumac
  • 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 70g pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup tomato passata 
  • 20g fresh parsley, chopped
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • To serve: tzatziki or yoghurt, pomegranate seeds and extra chopped parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
Preheat the oven to 220ยฐC (425ยฐF) and place the eggplant halves cut side up in a roasting pan big enough to fit them in snugly. Brush the flesh with a little olive oil and season with salt and plenty of cracked pepper. Roast for about 20 minutes.
While eggplants are cooking, start making the stuffing. Combine the cumin, paprika, sumac and cinnamon in a small bowl. Heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan and add the onion, garlic and half of the spice mix for about 8 minutes, stirring often until browned. Add the lamb, pine nuts, parsley, passata, the rest of the spice mix, and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to cook and stir for another 8-10 minutes or until the meat is cooked.
To make the sauce, place all ingredients in a small bowl and stir to combine. Remove the eggplants from the oven and pour the sauce mixture into the bottom of the roasting pan. Spoon the lamb mixture on top of the eggplant halves evenly. Cover the pan with foil and return to the oven for another 25-30 minutes or until the eggplants are soft. Baste with the sauce if necessary.
Serve warm, topped with tzatziki or yoghurt, fresh parsley, pomegranate and extra cracked black pepper.

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