Middle Eastern Stuffed Eggplant

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Recipe by Amy Kritzer

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 large Chinese eggplants, halved the long way
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • ½ medium onion, diced
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh cracked black pepper
  • 1 pound Grow and Behold Meatball Mix  (or use 1/2lb ground beef and 1/2 lb ground veal)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • ½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons ground cumin
  • 8 ounce can tomato sauce
  • ½ cup yellow raisins
  • 1 cup cooked chickpeas
  • 1 lemon
  • Fresh mint for garnish
  • ¼ cup toasted pine nuts for garnish

PREPARATION

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

2. Spoon eggplant flesh out of each half of the eggplant, leaving a ¼ inch border in the skin. Take the flesh and dice it.

3. In a large sauté pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add eggplant, onion and garlic with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon black pepper. Sauté until eggplant is soft and cooked through and onions are translucent, about 7 minutes.

4. Remove vegetables, and add 1 more tablespoon olive oil. Add meat, water and spices and sauté until meat is cooked through, about 5 minutes.

5. Then add eggplant mixture back in, along with tomato sauce, raisins and chickpeas. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 5 minutes to meld flavors while stirring. Adjust with salt and pepper to taste.

6. Place scooped eggplant halves on a foil lined cookie sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil and sprinkle with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes. Then stuff each one with ¼ of the meat mixture. And bake for another 20 minutes until eggplant is very tender.

7. Squeeze lemon over meat and garnish with pine nuts and mint. Serve warm!

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