RECIPE: STUFFED AUBERGINE (EGGPLANT)
Using quinoa instead of bread crumbs or rice gives you a lower-carb, gluten free meal that tastes as good as it looks!
Serve with a simple side salad for another veggie boost and a fresh crunch.
PREP TIME: 20 min
COOK TIME: 40 min
MAKES: 4 pieces
2 whole aubergines
Olive oil to drizzle
¼ cup (100 g) quinoa
½ cup water
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 TBSP olive oil (for the onions)
300 g minced lamb or beef *
2 vine-ripened tomatoes, cut into cubes
1 sachet TASTE OF LEBANON
salt & pepper to taste
Feta cheese and mint to garnish
Feta cheese and fresh mint.
Preheat oven to 200 ºC / 400 ºF.
PREP THE AUBERGINE
1) Cut the eggplants in half. Run a sharp knife around the inside edge, and then score into cubes, slicing nearly down to the bottom, taking care not to cut through the
skin. Slide a small, sharp knife under the cubes to scoop them out, and reserve for making the filling.
2) Place ‘shells’ onto an oven tray, season with salt and pepper, drizzle a bit of olive oil over them and cook in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
Run a sharp knife around the inside edge, taking care not to cut through the bottom.
Score into cubes, slicing nearly down to the bottom, but taking care not to cut through the skin.
Slide a small, sharp knife under the cubes to scoop them out, and reserve for making the filling.
Place ‘shells’ onto an oven tray, season with salt and pepper, drizzle a bit of olive oil over them and cook in the preheated oven for 25-30 minutes.
MAKE THE FILLING
3) Cook the quinoa in ½ cup water, according to direction on the package.
4) Heat a frying pan over medium-high heat, add olive oil and onion and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the TASTE OF LEBANON spice blend to minced meat, aubergine cubes and most of the cubed tomatoes (reserving a few for as a topping).
5) Cook mixture for 10 minutes, then stir in the coked quinoa and salt to taste
6) Remove aubergine ‘shells’ from oven and switch the oven heat to the grill/broiler (top heat). Divide filling evenly across all 4 aubergine halves. Top with reserved tomato cubes and feta cheese and place under the grill/broiler for 10-15 minutes, or until feta starts to brown a bit.
Transfer to a serving platter or individual plates, and sprinkle with freshly chopped mint leaves.
Pair with a side salad for a fresh crunch and a well-rounded meal.
Filled with minced lamb, quinoa, tomatoes, and topped with feta and fresh mint.
Recipe & Photo Credits: Cathy Menees
MEAT: Lamb is such a staple in Middle Eastern (and European) cuisine, but if you can’t find minced lamb, then beef or pork are also nice.
VEGETARIAN: Or blitz 500g mushrooms in a food processor and substitute that for the minced meat to make it vegetarian!
It might be a little cumbersome first time you try to remove the flesh from the skin to create a shell, but by the time you reach for the 4th halve, you’ll be a pro.
This makes for a fun dinner party or brunch dish as you can make everything ahead of time, and just wait to fill the shells until you are ready to pop them uner the grill/broiler.