This recipe is one of the best recipe for the eggplant lovers. Many people love eggplants in Turkey, but I am not sure if it is that much loved or common ingredient in US. So we have many recipes with this vegetable as main dishes or as side dishes. Before the summer ends it is good idea to share one recipe with eggplant, and I think I picked the very famous one!
In Turkey the eggplants are much more smaller than the ones you could get in US. So I tried slice the eggplants as it shouldn’t be. Usually you can stuff one eggplant and serve one for each person. But in this recipe I had to slice to eggplants into 3 parts. They were still big enough to find enough space to stuff ! I used 2 eggplants and I had 6 serving stuffed eggplant at the end.
My recipe is a little bit different than the usual one. It differs from cooking way of the eggplant. Eggplants are usually fried in the pan before stuffing them. Or they can be even cooked in the oven. I cooked them in the microwave oven. With using microwave oven you can have very light dish.
Ingredients: 2 eggplants, 1/2 lbs. ground beef, 1 green pepper, 1 yellow onion, 2 tomatos, salt and pepper, thyme, dried mint, 3/4 cup olive oil, 2 tbsp tomato paste, 3/4 cup hot water.
- Peel the eggplants vertically and leave the half of skin as in the picture below.
- To get rid of strong eggplant taste comes from its seeds, you need to rest the eggplants slices in salty water for abour half an hour.
- When it comes to cook the eggplants, my recipe a little bit differs from the real recipe. Eggplants are usually fried in the oil in the pan to cook. If you do that I am sure (or I must say I know) the taste will be wonderful. However I choose a different way this time to have lighter dish which could fit our diets. I cooked them in the microwave oven. I placed 3 slices at once and cooked 7 mins. each sides. I had 6 slices, so it took 28-30 mins. to cook. At this point you should be very careful. The eggplant should be cooked well. They should be very tender and soft. You can adjust the cooking time for this softness.
- Meanwhile, you can prepare beef mixture to stuff. Use food processor to process the onion and green pepper.
- Stir the onion and pepper in the pan with a little bit olive oil for about 5-10 mins. Add the ground beef and cook for extra 5 mins.
- Peel and cubed 1 and half tomatos. Leave the half tomatos to use at the end. Add the cubed tomatos to beef mixture and cook for a few minutes more.
- Finally add salt, black pepper, thyme, drien mint to beef mixture.
- Place the cooked eggplants in a rectangular glass oven tray and stuff them with the beef mixture. Place the sliced and peeled tomatos on the top of the stuffed eggplants.
- In bowl, mix the hot water, olive oil, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Pour the mixture over the stuffed eggplants.
- Place the tray in the oven. Set the oven 400˚F and cook for about an hour.