Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Stuffed Turkish Eggplant

Okay, raise your hand if you're one of the folks who received "these mysterious orange things" in your Crop Share box last week?  Don't feel bad if you were stumped, as I had no idea what on earth they were when they first arrived.  But they are, in fact, Turkish Eggplant (also known as scarlet eggplant, Ethiopian eggplant, orange eggplant, and even pumpkins-on-a-stick).  Slightly more bitter than traditional purple eggplant (think similar in flavor to a green bell pepper), they are used a lot in Asian cuisine and are great sliced and baked or grilled.  But I don't know about you, when I see the word Turkish in anything, I want to throw lamb all over it.  So that's just what I did.  The filling will work perfect for any stuffed eggplant, and this recipe makes A LOT, maybe too much filling (who am I kidding, there's never too much!), so it will be great for larger eggplants...or perhaps an entire case of them.

Stuffed Turkish Eggplant

1 cup wild rice (cooked to package directions)
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 sweet onion, minced
2 tsp garlic, minced
1 lb ground lamb
6 Turkish eggplants (tops sliced off and reserved, and innards scooped out and chopped)
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp Kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
4 roma tomatoes, diced
1/4 cup dried currants
Fresh mint, chopped for garnish (if desired)

Cook wild rice according to package directions.  Meanwhile preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

In a saute pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add in onion and garlic and saute for 2-4 minutes, until translucent.  Add in ground lamb and cook for 5-7 minutes, until meat is cooked through and browned.  Add in chopped eggplant innards, and then all your spices.  Simmer for an additional 1 minute then add in diced tomatoes.  Cook for an additional 3 minutes and add in currants.  Allow currants to heat through and then stir in your cooked wild rice, combining all the flavors evenly, and remove from heat. You may also stir in some crumbles of feta or ricotta cheese.

Take each eggplant and fill over the brim with the stuffing.  Cap with it's top and place into a baking dish.  Repeat until all eggplants are stuffed.  If you have reserved stuffing (which you likely will), save to eat as is, or stuff additional eggplant varieties.  Drizzle tops with olive oil and bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes.  Garnish with fresh chopped mint, if desired

You can see I had to round up more eggplant to stuff.  And that one I topped with some crumbled dairy-free ricotta! 

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