These greek-style ground beef stuffed eggplants are delicious and go well with plain lettuce or arugula, being a perfect summer meal. The stuffing, made with ghee, onion, garlic, ground beef, the eggplant cooked pulp, tomato sauce, herbs, raisin, nuts, and cheese, is flavorful and rich in contrasts. In each bite, you will feel the saltiness, sweetness, sourness, bitterness of this recipe, and the soft and crunchy texture.
- 4 small well-shaped eggplants
- 4 tbsp ghee
- 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 10 oz prime ground beef
- 2 tbsp tomato sauce
- 4 tbsp parsley, chopped
- 1 tsp fresh oregano leaves
- 20 mint leaves
- 1/3 cup dark raisins
- 1/3 cup nuts, coarsely chopped (or pistachios, pecan, pine nuts)
- ½ cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1 egg
- 4 oz sharp aged cheddar cheese, grated
- Olive oil to drizzle
- salt and black pepper
- Cut eggplants in half lengthwise and place each half with the cut side up on a cutting board. With a paring knife, without reaching the skin and leaving a free 0,2 rim around the skin, cut a crosshatch pattern with about 1,2” pieces in the pulp. Sprinkle surfaces with salt and pepper and brush with olive oil. Pop them into the oven for about 45 minutes until the pulp gets thoroughly cooked and tender.
- With a spoon and keeping skins intact, remove the pulp of the eggplant halves and transfer to a bowl and mash it with a fork. Keep the eggplants bases in the baking pan.
- For the stuffing, heat a medium-sized frying pan. Add ghee, the onion, and let it wilt. Mix in garlic, and, when fragrant, add ground beef, salt, and pepper. Stir to break all lumps and cook over high heat until ground beef is golden and flavorful. Add eggplant pulp, tomato sauce and wait until heat. Season with salt and pepper, stir in the herbs, raisins, nuts, egg, breadcrumbs, and half of the cheese, and turn off the heat.
- Preheat the oven to 180ºC (350ºF / moderate / Gas 4).
- Stuff each eggplant with 1/8 of the mixture and sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
- Pop the eggplants into the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown.