October 15, 2009

Lebanese Styled Stuffed Eggplant


When I thought this dish from Smitten Kitchen would definitely be the hit for the dinner gathering I planned the other night, it turned out one of the ladies was allergic to eggplant. And I didn't know that until she told me at the table before we started eating. I was all "how stupid I am, I should've let them see the menu before!"

But thank God who did help me a bit. Since there was too much stuffing for the eggplants I had, and so happened a couple of red peppers just appeared in my refrigerator without telling me, I made some stuffed red peppers as well. Gosh, I was so glad that I made extra peppers or.....I don't know what "or" would happen.

Honestly, the stuffed red peppers did taste better than the eggplants. One thing was the natural sweetness of peppers, another reason was I did not season the inside of eggplants (which I think is hugely necessary) according to the original recipe, and so the eggplants tasted a little bit plain.

(serves 4 to 6)
Ingredients:
6-8 baby eggplants
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups chicken stock
5 roma tomatoes, diced
3/4 lb ground chicken, lamb or beef
1 teaspoon thyme or oregano, finely chopped
1/2 lemon
3 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
salt and pepper for seasoning

Directions:
Hollow out each eggplant with a melon-ball cutter or a pairing knife, 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 large skillet over medium-high heat, saute onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden, 6 to 8 mins. Transfer 1/2 cup onion mixture to bowl with pine nuts.

Add stock and tomatoes to the covered skillet and simmer, season with salt and pepper, while stuffing eggplant.

Add rice, meat, herb, salt and pepper to bowl with onion mixture and mix well.

Sprinkle a little salt along the inside walls of eggplants. 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 mins to one hour.

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

29 comments:

alison said...

delicious!the lebanese cuisine is special!like your post!

Angie's Recipes said...

Another delicious eggplant recipe..
Angie's Recipes

the traditional gourmand said...

Looks great! And thank goodness for having bell peppers on hand!

ValleyWriter said...

Looks delicious!

KennyT said...

My tongue is itchy whenever I eat eggplant, do you know why lululu?

Julie from Life Domestic said...

I'm not an eggplant eater but stuffing the red peppers sounds divine!

2 Toddlers and Me said...

Looks wonderful! I've been looking for new eggplant recipes.

I like your blog. Found you on Mom Bloggers Follower Group. I'm now following and looking forward to reading more.

MaryMoh said...

mmmm....looks very delicious. I love eggplants but my family doesn't really like....hmmmm.

Fresh Local and Best said...

Oh dear! This is a good lesson for the rest of us, I wouldn't have thought to ask about food allergies! The photo of the eggplant and recipe looks fab!

Miriam said...

I absolutely loooove stuffed eggplants, I usually stuff them with a bolognese-like mixture along with the diced eggplant... lovely.

lisaiscooking said...

The eggplant looks delicious, and I have a couple in my refrigerator right now! Perfect.

Tina said...

I really like eggplant. The texture is great and I love the taste.

Jhonny walker said...

eggplants are my eternal favorites. I make a lot with these. Its got a cute name too-- Aubergine :)

Simply Life said...

Wow, I am SO impressed - this looks amazing!

Simply Life said...

Wow, I am SO impressed - this looks amazing!

Cookin' Canuck said...

I didn't realize that eggplant allergies are a problem for some people - good to know for the future. I think your eggplant dish sounds wonderful!

Anncoo said...

Thank you for sharing. I would like to add this in my to do list.

Miranda said...

The stuffed red peppers look FANTASTIC!!!!

penny aka jeroxie said...

This looks great. I must try to make this. Added to my favourites!

CheapAppetite said...

Lucky you, Lululu. Your guest must be surprised when you pull the stuffed bell pepper out of the hat. The eggplants look really good too.

Jessie said...

yum! I loved stuffed vegetables anything and this is a delicious recipe

Danielle said...

I am not a huge fan of eggplant so loved your suggestion to stuff red peppers. Great idea.

EcoMeg said...

Yum - I will try this sometime with bell peppers!

ncl117 said...

this looks like a perfect dinner option! i LOVE stuffed eggplant,peppers, tomatoes basically anything!

Olive said...

my husband doesn't like eggplant but I think he'll like these with bellpeppers.. What's Ethan doing? :)

EcoMeg said...

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Heavenly Housewife said...

Lebanese food is one of my all time favourites. This looks absolutely fab!

pigpigscorner said...

Love aubergine, love the flavours! Definitely a must try.

Divina Pe said...

Good thing you have red bell peppers. Another great recipe to try with eggplants. Thanks so much.