Whenever I think of stuffing vegetables, it seems like a really tedious and cumbersome process- stuffed zucchini, stuffed cabbage, grape leaves, you name it. It seems like something I don’t have time for now want to spend an afternoon doing.
This recipe, however, isn’t like that at all. It’s a sort of twist on actually ‘stuffing’ and slow cooking because it’s sped up by cooking the ground meat ahead of time and using the inside flesh of the eggplant in that ground meat. The eggplants are then left sort of thin enough to bake nicely in the oven with enough time to just give the meat that seared taste.
I love this recipe so much and I hope you will, too.
The one secret I have to making and keeping the meat moist is by adding plenty of broth to the meat and also to the pan I’m cooking it in. The best choice for that, in my opinion is the Saffron Road Culinary Classic Vegetable Broth. It doesn’t impart any other meat flavors but since it has herbs in it, it imparts a nice flavor and aroma to the meat.
See the recipe below- ft’s a fantastic choice for any time of year, but truly satisfying this time of year when we love something substantial but not too heavy for Iftar.
- 2 large or 4 small eggplants
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup yellow onions, minced
- 2 pounds ground chicken (or beef, lamb, etc.)
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
- 2 tablespoons pine nuts (optional)
- 1 32 ounce container Saffron Road Culinary Classic Vegetable Broth
- Fresh parsley leaves for topping
- Cut the eggplants in half and using a spoon, scoop out all of the flesh. Roughly chop it into small cube-size pieces and set aside.
- Gently heat the oil in a saute pan.
- Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Raise the heat and add the chicken, the chopped eggplant, and the spices. Stir until all the chicken is mostly cooked, about 6-7 minutes. Add half of the container of the Saffron Road Culinary Classic Vegetable Broth. Continue cooking on medium high heat until the broth has mostly evaporated, about 5-6 more minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Place the eggplant shells in a semi deep oven-safe baking pan. Add the meat mixture to each shell, then top with fresh parsley. Drizzle each with a bit of olive oil.
- Add the remaining Saffron Road Culinary Classic Vegetable Broth to the bottom of the pan.
- Bake for 30-35 minutes, uncovered, or until you see that the meat has significantly browned on top. Remove and let cool slightly before serving with rice, potatoes or pasta.