One of my most memorable dining experiences was during a trip to the Turkish coast. I discovered the most delightful dish that I couldn’t wait to bring back home and share with my friends and family – Stuffed Eggplant Delight. This dish not only brings back fond memories of that trip, but it also adds a touch of Mediterranean magic to any dinner table.
Stuffed Eggplant Delight is a versatile dish that can be served during various occasions. It’s perfect for family dinners, casual get-togethers with friends, and even holiday feasts. In the Mediterranean region, stuffed vegetables are a common feature in festive meals, and this recipe is no exception.
My first attempt at making this dish was far from perfect. I scooped out too much of the eggplant flesh, leaving the shell too thin to hold the filling. To fix this mistake, I made sure to leave about a 1/4-inch thick shell the next time I prepared the dish, and it turned out beautifully.
Another learning experience came when I used a coarse salt instead of kosher salt to season the eggplants. The result was an overpoweringly salty dish. I quickly learned that using the right type of salt and seasoning sparingly is crucial to achieving the perfect balance of flavors in this recipe.
Despite the initial challenges, my determination to recreate the delightful flavors of that Mediterranean trip paid off. This Stuffed Eggplant Delight is now one of my go-to recipes when I want to impress guests or simply enjoy a delicious and healthy meal with my family.
There are several reasons why you should try this Stuffed Eggplant Delight recipe. First, it’s a healthy and low-sodium meal option that doesn’t compromise on flavor. With a combination of nutritious ingredients like eggplant, bell peppers, tomatoes, and ground beef, this dish provides a well-rounded meal packed with essential vitamins and minerals.
Secondly, it’s a versatile recipe that can be easily adapted to suit different dietary preferences. You can substitute the ground beef with ground turkey or lamb, or even opt for a vegetarian version by using cooked lentils or a meat substitute. The possibilities are endless!
Finally, Stuffed Eggplant Delight is a great way to introduce new and exciting flavors to your dinner table. The blend of aromatic spices like cumin, paired with the fresh taste of parsley and the tanginess of the tomatoes, creates a truly delightful Mediterranean-inspired dish.
Stuffed Eggplant DelightCourse: Main CourseCuisine: Mediterranean
A flavorful meal perfect for weeknight dinners or as a centerpiece for a Mediterranean-themed dinner party.
5 medium-sized eggplants, preferably similar in size
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 medium-size bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1/2 lb ground beef 80/20
4 cloves garlic, thinly chopped
1 cup diced tomatoes, plus more as garnish on top
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for seasoning the belly of eggplants
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 cup Italian parsley, chopped, more as a garnish
1 cup hot water
1 tablespoon tomato paste
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C).
- Slice the eggplants in half lengthwise and use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving about 1/4-inch thick shell. Season the inside of each eggplant with a pinch of kosher salt.
- In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until translucent, about 3-4 minutes.
- Stir in the ground cumin and bell pepper, cooking for an additional 2 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and garlic to the skillet, breaking up the meat and cooking until it is browned.
- Mix in the diced tomatoes, 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, black pepper, and parsley. Cook for 3-4 minutes, allowing flavors to meld.
- Stuff each eggplant half with the beef mixture, and place them in a baking dish.
- In a small bowl, whisk together hot water and tomato paste. Pour the mixture into the baking dish around the eggplants.
- Bake for 45 minutes, or until the eggplants are tender and the filling is cooked through.
- Garnish with additional diced tomatoes and parsley before serving.
- You can substitute ground turkey or lamb for the ground beef if desired.
- For a vegetarian option, replace the ground beef with cooked lentils or a meat substitute.
This Stuffed Eggplant Delight pairs wonderfully with a fresh green salad, warm pita bread, and a side of tzatziki sauce. It’s perfect for weeknight dinners or as a centerpiece for a Mediterranean-themed dinner party. Enjoy this healthy and satisfying meal any time of the year!