I’m sharing this recipe that my daughter made recently, which has become a favourite in the West household. I like the addition of juicy pomegranate kernels to finish off the dish – adding a nice hit of extra taste and looking pretty too. I found it interesting to pair meat (beef) and eggplant when we often use lamb.
5 garlic cloves
A small onion, finely chopped
½ cup parsley, coarsely chopped
500g minced/ground beef
½ cup plain yoghurt
½ teaspoon ground cumin
Preheat oven to 220C/425F. Trim stem end off eggplants, then poke holes all over. Cut in half lengthwise. Score a shallow crosshatch pattern into the cut sides. (Note, when we ate this, the eggplants were large and were cut into thick slices rather than halves, so everyone got several slices.)
Place eggplant on a baking sheet (we put baking paper beneath) and drizzle with 3 tbsp oil. Toss eggplant to coat. Season generously on all sides. Arrange cut sides down on baking sheet.
Roast eggplant until undersides are deep golden brown, 20–25 minutes. Using a spatula, turn halves cut side up. Continue to roast until very tender and flesh is collapsed, another 15–20 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest until cool enough to handle.
While eggplant is roasting, stir ½ cup yogurt and 1 tbsp oil in a medium bowl. Grate one peeled garlic clove into the bowl then season and set aside.
To make the filling, heat 2 tbsp oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add the beef and press into a single layer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook undisturbed until beef is browned and crispy on one side, about 4 minutes. Using spatula, toss beef, breaking up into small pieces, then push to one side of skillet.
Add onion and the rest of the garlic (smashed with the flat of your knife and skin removed) to the empty side of skillet and cook, tossing just the onion and garlic often, until onion is translucent and mixture is browned in spots, about 3 minutes.
Add ½ tsp cumin and toss to combine with onion mixture, then toss everything with beef to combine; season again if you wish. (Note, though the recipe said ‘toss’ I prefer to mix so the food stays in the pan). Cook, tossing/stirring constantly and breaking up meat until beef is cooked through and thoroughly mixed. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.
Smear yogurt mixture on serving plate. Arrange warm eggplant cut sides up over top, allowing any moisture to drip off of eggplant before placing over yogurt. Spoon beef mixture over eggplant. Scatter pomegranate on top. Sprinkle reserved parsley over entire platter. Drizzle with a bit more oil before serving.
Note: if you don’t use pomegranate much I find the easiest way to remove the kernels is cut the fruit in half, hold it in your hand, cut side down, and tap the outside of the fruit with the back of a spoon to dislodge the kernels. It’s far easier than trying to dig them out.
My daughter amended this recipe a little to suit us. You can make extra garlic sauce, for instance and play with the seasoning. She found the recipe online at Bon Appetit. It’s by Claire Saffiz. Here’s the link if you’d like to see the original. https://tinyurl.com/y3stqbnp
Australian Annie West loves writing passionate, intense romances and not just because it gives her a chance to ignore housework! She is a USA Today Bestselling author, published in 25 languages. Annie writes contemporary stories about charismatic heroes and strong heroines. She loves being in contact with readers as far apart as Brisbane, Bremen and Bermuda. When not writing and avoiding housework she can be found walking, enjoying good food and good company, travelling and reading.
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