During this time of social distancing, we have become very specific about which markets we are going to and how we grocery shop and plan for the week. One of our favorite middle eastern markets, Arash, was our go-to this past week and this dish is inspired by all of the great ingredients that we found there! We typically have had stuffed eggplant using Italian ingredients but loved the flavor combinations of cauliflower, lamb and eggplant. The sauce can easily be swapped or paired with tzatiki or spicy green tahini to help make the flavor pop!
Mediterranean Lamb Stuffed Eggplant
Makes: 4 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes Total Time: 55 minutes
Ingredients For the Eggplant:
- 1 head of cauliflower
- 2 whole eggplants, halved
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 lb ground lamb
- 1 tsp each salt & pepper
Ingredients For the Yogurt Sauce:
- 2 cups 0% Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup fresh mint leaves, diced
- 1 lemon, juice and zest
- 1 tsp red chili flakes
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prep the ingredients (see ingredient list) and cut the cauliflower into bite sized pieces. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and put the cauliflower and eggplant halves in the oven for 20 minutes. Be sure the the eggplant is skin side down.
- In a large sauté pan, add the olive oil, garlic and onion. Sauté on medium heat for 5 minutes or until the onions are translucent but not brown.
- Add the lamb and use a spatula to break the lamb into small pieces. Add the salt and pepper and cook for 10 – 15 minutes until the lamb is completely cooked through.
- While the lamb is cooking, make the sauce. Combine all of the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Mix thoroughly. If made in advance, keep the sauce stored cool in a refrigerator.
- Once the cauliflower and eggplant are done, allow to cool for 10 minutes. Use a spoon to scoop out the inside of the eggplant halves and place the eggplant in a large mixing bowl.
- Dice the cauliflower until the pieces are smaller than bite size. Add the cauliflower and lamb mixture to the eggplant and stir it all together until the ingredients are well mixed. Use a spoon to put the lamb mixture back into the eggplant halves. Overstuff the eggplants as best you can- you will have more filling than what can fit into the halves – which is ok!
- Put the eggplants back in the oven for 5 minutes. Top with the sauce and use the extra filling for your kids, second helpings or leftovers!