The Jerusalem Cookbook has so many recipes that I need to make! But this is the first one that jumped out at me, and I’m so glad I made it. It’s a simple recipe that can be made in advance, but since it’s lamb and has pine nuts in it (which I usually leave out, as you know), it can be served as a fancy dish or a weeknight make ahead dinner (my favorite).
I stole this cookbook from my friend Rachel and knew I had to make this recipe right away. First of all, I love ground lamb! It’s just an ingredient that is fun to cook with. And secondly, Zeke loves eggplant! I can’t say I love it, but using it like this is definitely fun and flavorful.
Serve this dish with a side of salad or some grilled veggies and garlic bread and you have a full meal. Which is good, because like I said, you can make this on a sunday and then heat it up during the week for a very quick meal (I know the recipe has 18 steps, but they’re all short and easy, I promise). Leftovers are great for lunch the next day. The recipe can also be multiplied easily if you’re serving a crowd. Another big plus.
Stuffed Eggplants with Lamb, adapted from Jerusalem:
serves 2 generously
- 2 medium eggplants
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 pound ground lamb
- 1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon oot/tamarind paste
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and place them skin side down in a roasting pan/Pyrex.
3. Brush the eggplants with about 2 tablespoons olive oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and a ton of freshly ground black pepper.
4. Roast for about 20 minutes, until golden brown.
5. Remove from oven and cool slightly before continuing.
6. While the eggplants are cooking, start making the stuffing: Heat the remaining tablespoon of oil in a large frying pan/saute pan.
7. Mix together the cumin, paprika, and ground cinnamon.
8. Add half the spice mix to the pan, along with the onion.
9. Cook over medium-high heat for about 8-10 minutes, stirring often, until the onions soften.
10. Add the lamb, parsley, tomato paste, sugar, 1 teaspoon of salt, and black pepper. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes until the meat is cooked through.
11. Place the remaining spice mix in a measuring cup or bowl and add the water, lemon juice, oot, 1/2 teaspoon salt and the rest of the sugar. Mix well.
12. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees.
13. Pour the spice mix into the bottom of the eggplant roasting pan.
14. Spoon the lamb mixture on top of each eggplant, splitting evenly among the eggplants.
15. Cover the pan tightly with aluminum foil and return to the oven.
16. Roast for 1 1/2 hours, basting the eggplants twice during cooking, about 30 minutes and 60 minutes through (add some water if the sauce is looking too dry).
17. Remove when the eggplants are super soft and the sauce is thick.
18. Serve warm or at room temperature (not hot).