Persian Stuffed Eggplant

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Iran is home to an impressive variety of culinary delights. These stuffed eggplants are no exception. Full of comforting and aromatic spices, they make for a satisfying healthy meal, reminiscent of what you would find in the warm inviting homes of Iran.

Yield: 6 servings

Persian Stuffed Eggplant

Persian Stuffed Eggplant
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil; plus more for drizzle
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • ½ pound ground lamb
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 Tbsp lemon zest
  • 1 tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 3 large Eggplant

Tahini Sauce

  • 2 tbsp tahini
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp fresh chopped garlic

Garnish

  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/4 cup pomegranate seeds (optional)

Instructions

    1.Preheat the oven to 350. Cut each eggplant in half and score the inner flesh several times. Drizzle olive oil over the scored flesh and place on a baking sheet flesh side down. Bake them in the oven for approximately 20-25 minutes depending on the size, until the eggplants are soft and tender.

    2.In a skillet on medium heat, add the olive oil and onion and sauté for 5 minutes or until the onion has softened. Add the garlic and pine nuts and sauté for an additional minute.

    3.Add in the ground lamb and beef, breaking the meat up into a fine crumble; cook until no longer pink.

    4.Stir in the lemon zest, turmeric, paprika, cumin, pepper and salt and let cook for another 2-3 minutes.

    5.When the eggplants are done, allow to cool slightly. Using a spoon scoop out the seedy flesh from each of the eggplants. Sprinkle the eggplant with salt and fill with the ground meat mixture.

    6.Once they are stuffed, return them to the oven to bake for another 5 minutes.

    7.Meanwhile, make the tahini sauce by whisking together the tahini, lemon juice, salt, garlic and water.

    8.When done, remove the eggplant from the oven, drizzle them with the tahini sauce and sprinkle with fresh parsley and pomegranate seeds. Serve hot.

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