Lebanese Stuffed Eggplant

This dish is known as Shaykh al-Mishi (Fit for a King) for a reason. This Lebanese meal expertly combines the most vibrant flavors to produce an authentic and scrumptious plate that is certainly worthy of royalty.

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Ingredients

  • 1 lb lean ground lamb
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 large onion
  • tomato sauce

Directions

Using large eggplant, wash and remove stems. Stripe long-ways with a vegetable peeler into approximately 1-in stripes. Cut eggplant in medallions about an inch or 1 1/4 inch thick. Cut an "X" in the center of each slice, but not all the way through. Arrange eggplant medallions in a baking dish or pan which has been lightly greased or sprayed with olive oil. Bake at 375 ° F till tender and lightly browned. Remove and set aside.

Brown lamb with chopped onion and add salt, pepper, cinnamon and pine nuts while browning. If needed add small amount of olive oil to pan. After lamb is done, drain mixture to remove any excess fat.

Put a large spoonful of the meat mixture on each eggplant medallion and mash down gently in the center. Mix tomato sauce with equal parts of water. Pour tomato/water mix over the stuffed eggplant to cover. Bake uncovered at 375 ° F until bubbly and thoroughly hot. Serve over rice.