Thursday, August 02, 2007

Baked Stuffed Eggplant

A delicious recipe, and easy to make. Glenna's recipe for the Chimichirri sauce (following post) also works wonders.

3 (1/2-pound) eggplants
1 teaspoon salt, plus 1 teaspoon
1 tablespoon olive oil, plus 3 tablespoons
2 cups chopped onion
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound lean ground lamb
1/3 cup minced fresh parsley leaves
3 tablespoons minced fresh mint leaves
3 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into julienne strips
1 cup crumbled feta cheese

Halve 2 of the eggplants lengthwise, score their pulp deeply with a sharp knife, being careful not to pierce the skins, and with a grapefruit knife scoop or tablespoon, scoop out the pulp, reserving it and leaving 1/2-inch-thick shells.

Sprinkle the shells with 1 teaspoon salt and invert them on paper towels to drain for 15 to 30 minutes. Cut the reserved pulp and the remaining whole eggplant into 1/2-inch pieces, in a colander toss the pieces with the remaining salt, and let them drain for 15 to 30 minutes.

Rinse and pat the shells dry with paper towels, brush them with 1 tablespoon of the oil, and broil them on the rack of a broiler pan, skin side down, under a preheated broiler about 4 inches from the heat until they are tender, about 5 minutes.

In a skillet, heat the remaining 3 tablespoons oil over moderately high heat until it is hot but not smoking. Saute the onion and the garlic until translucent. Add the ground lamb and the eggplant pieces stirring, until meat loses all color and eggplant is tender.

Remove the skillet from the heat, stir in the parsley, mint, tomatoes, feta, and salt and pepper to taste, and divide the filling among the shells, mounding it. Broil the stuffed eggplants in a large flameproof baking dish for 5 minutes, or until the filling is bubbling and golden.