Prep 30 mins
Cook 1 hr 30 mins
This is one of my favorite Faye Levy recipes.
- 2 lbs small eggplants or 2 medium eggplants
- salt and pepper
- 1 -2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 4 cloves garlic, halved
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
Meat and rice stuffing
- 1⁄2 cup long-grain rice, rinsed and drained
- salt & freshly ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons olive oil or 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1⁄2 lb lean ground beef
- 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1⁄4 teaspoon turmeric
- 3 tablespoons slivered almonds, toasted (optional)
- Cut the stem ends from the eggplants.
- Halve the eggplants lengthwise.
- Peel if desired; if the eggplant is fresh, there is no need to peel it.
- Use a spoon to scoop out the centers, leaving boat-shaped shells.
- Keep the flesh you scooped out to add to the stuffing.
- Sprinkle the shells with salt.
- Put them in a colander upside down and leave to drain for 1/2 hour.
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees C.
- Prepare the stuffing: Add the rice to 3 cups boiling salted water and boil for 10 minutes until not quite tender.
- Rinse under cold running water and drain well.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a frying pan, add the onion and cook over low heat until soft but not brown.
- Leave to cool.
- Mix with the beef, parsley, cumin, turmeric and almonds.
- Chop the flesh removed from the eggplant.
- Heat 2 tablespoons oil, add the chopped eggplant and sprinkle with salt.
- Saute over medium-low heat, stirring often, until tender, about 10 minutes.
- Leave to cool and mix with the stuffing.
- Taste for seasoning; if you prefer not to taste a mixture that contains raw beef, broil or microwave a teaspoon of the mixture and taste it for seasoning.
- Rinse the eggplant shells, pat them dry and put them in a baking dish.
- Fill them with the stuffing.
- Mix the tomato paste with 1/4 cup water and spoon the mixture over the eggplant.
- Add enough water to the dish to cover the eggplant by one third.
- Add the garlic to the dish.
- Spoon 1 tablespoon oil over the eggplant.
- Cover and bake 15 minutes.
- Reduce the heat to 350 F and continue baking, covered, 15 more minutes.
- Uncover and bake, basting occasionally, 30 minutes or until the eggplant is very tender.
I walked through this recipe in blind faith. Never have I parboiled rice before, nor have I omitted sauteeing the meat (turkey in my case) before making a stuffing. Mirj didn't let me down; it came out just fine. I added another 1/2 tsp. cumin, and a dash of cayenne to increase the spiciness of the dish. I think this recipe is worth the effort and recommend it.