Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Lamb, Mint and Feta Stuffed Eggplants

I wouldn't say that these stuffed eggplants are the prettiest things I've ever photographed or eaten, but they certainly are among the tastiest. And the best part of all is that the eggplants were given to us by hubby's boss. (And you all know how I love freebies!)

This recipe includes another first for me in that I've never cooked with ground lamb before. I'm not sure why I've shied away from it but most likely it was because I had no idea what I would use ground lamb for. I found a package of it on sale last week though and decided to try it with these little baby eggplants. It was a good call. The combination of lamb, mint, pine nuts and feta cheese made for a delicious marriage of flavors, and one I will definitely try again.

Lamb, Mint and Feta Stuffed Eggplants

4-6 small eggplants
kosher salt and pepper
1 pound ground lamb
2 TBSP olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
1/2 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
pinch of red pepper flakes
2 cloves of garlic, minced
3 TBSP tomato paste
1/4 cup pine nuts, toasted and coarsely chopped
1/4 cup fresh mint, chopped
1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese (can use reduced-fat)

Slice eggplants in half, lengthwise. Score the flesh and carefully remove it, leaving 1/4-1/2" shells. Coarsely chop the flesh and set aside. Season the insides of the eggplants with kosher salt and pepper and lay them cut-side down on a paper towel to drain for 15-20 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Crumble the ground lamb in a large skillet and season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium-high heat until lamb is browned. Drain any grease and place lamb in a separate bowl. Set aside.

In same skillet heat the olive oil. Add the onion, bell pepper and the reserved chopped eggplant. Season with salt, pepper and red pepper flakes. Saute for 6-8 minutes or until onions have become translucent. Add garlic and saute for another minute or two. Remove from heat and stir in the tomato paste, pine nuts, feta cheese and browned lamb. Stir well to combine.

Stuff eggplant halves with mixture and place on baking sheet. Baked in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes or until eggplant is tender and filling is bubbly.


Kathleen said...

These look fabulous. I'm bookmarking right now. Thanks for sharing!!!

Nanan said...

I think it is totally beautiful - rich colors! I am not a big fan of lamb - but looking at this - I would dig right in without thinking about it - I know it tastes good!

Pam said...

It looks beautiful! I love eggplant and am always looking for new recipes for it! This is a must try as my hubby loves lamb! Thanks!

Barbara Bakes said...

I don't think I've ever had eggplant this fancy. It sounds fabulous.

~Carrie from Cottage Cozy~ said...

I can't tell you how much I LOVE eggplant...so I am anxious to try this fab recipe!

Jennifer said...

Oh my goodness this is just perfect!! The flavour combination is so wonderful, Im saving this! Thanks Mags! :)

Pam said...

Bookmarking! I have everything I need to make this!

June said...

Mags - these look incredible and I'm so proud of you for trying something completely new. I can't wait to make this recipe too! Can't go wrong with the combination that's for sure. Love lamb, mint and feta. YUM.

Sue Sparks said...

They look pretty good to me, and I'm not even a fan of eggplant! Makes me want to try it!

Kat said...

I love eggplant. This sounds wonderful. Thanks for posting.

Koek! said...

I have been dying to try making stuffed eggplants for ages now, but just never remember or get around to it... You recipe has inspired me - it is now time! I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks!

Maria said...

I love eggplant. It is really cheap right now too, even better!

The Mom Chef said...

You sound downright Greek with this one. It looks fantastic. Lamb is my "guilty pleasure" meat. I can't wait to try this out.

Courtney said...

I am making this mouthwatering dish for some friends tomorrow....may I ask what you prepared as a side dish?

Mags said...

Courtney: Sadly, I prepared no side dish. We just ate the stuffed eggplant! A side salad would go nicely or maybe some type of cucumber salad?

Anonymous said...

ok to use ground beef instead? Got lots in freezer to use up first.

Mags @ the Other Side of 50 said...

Anon: I'm sure ground beef would work here too. Try it and let me know!

buttoni said...

OMG I'll definitely be trying these soon. I'm so glad I stumbled on this recipe!