Lebanese Style Stuffed Eggplant Recipe

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Photo: Lebanese Style Stuffed Eggplant Recipe

The Lebanese Recipes Kitchen (The home of delicious Lebanese Recipes and Middle Eastern food recipes) invites you to try Lebanese Style Stuffed Eggplant Recipe. Enjoy the Middle Eastern Cuisine and learn how to make Lebanese Style Stuffed Eggplant.

One advantage to being married to a Lebanese man is that the food of his people is fantastic. I’ve never been able to perfectly replicate a single dish my mother-in-law makes until now: mahshi batinjaan, which my husband despises due to a lifelong aversion to eggplant. But ask yourself: How could he possibly resist this dish’s charm? Once you slice through the silky flesh to reveal a fragrantly seasoned lamb and rice stuffing, this deceptively simple one-dish dinner is absolutely luscious and satisfying. (Editors’ note: This recipe is solely the creation of Melissa Roberts and has not been formally tested by the test kitchen.)

Serves 6

Active time: 40 min
Start to finish: 1 3/4 hr

Ingredients:

6 (5- to 6-inch long) bambino (also called Baby Bell) eggplants (about 6 oz each)
1/2 cup long-grain or jasmine rice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock or reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 (14 1/2-oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
3/4 lb ground lamb or beef chuck (not lean)
1 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 lemon
3 tablespoons chopped flat-lef parsley

Preparation:

Hollow out each eggplant with a melon-ball cutter, working from bottom end and leaving about 1/3 inch eggplant flesh along interior walls.

Rinse rice in a sieve under cold water until water runs clear. Drain well.

Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Fry pine nuts, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Sauté onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer 1/2 cup onion mixture to bowl with pine nuts. Add stock, tomatoes, 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/4 tsp pepper to skillet and simmer, uncovered, while stuffing eggplant.

Add rice, meat, allspice, 1 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper to bowl with onion mixture and mix well with your hands.

Stuff eggplant with meat mixture, being careful not to pack tightly (rice will expand during cooking). Transfer stuffed eggplants to skillet with tomato sauce and simmer, covered, carefully turning once, until rice is cooked through, 50 minutes to 1 hour (cut 1 in half to test).

If sauce is watery, transfer eggplant to a plate and boil sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 3 to 5 minutes, then adjust seasoning if necessary. Return stuffed eggplant to sauce. Squeeze lemon over dish and sprinkle with parsley before serving.

From Gourmet 2009
Recipe by Melissa Roberts
Photograph by Stephanie Foley

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