Lebanese Eggplant with Beef, Squash, Pine Nuts & Tomatoes

As I said in my previous post, my harvest of tomatoes and eggplant this summer was disappointing.

Two plants produced two eggplants.

One summer my garden produced so many eggplants Susan and I had it almost every night. We had some many in fact, I thought of setting up a small farm stand at the end of our driveway; “Two Eggplants $1.” At one point toward the end of the summer, Susan said, “Enough eggplants!”

I found this recipe at The Lemon Bowl. I made a few changes/additions. Please note.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants (Just what I had!)
  • 1 squash, seeded and sliced thin (My addition. It’s summer. Why not? I had it in my vegetable basket!)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1 pound ground sirloin or lamb (I used sirloin.)
  • 1 tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 large onion diced
  • 8 ounces chicken stock (I used my homemade stock.)
  • 32 ounces crushed tomatoes (I used a 14.5 ounce can of diced tomatoes.)

Instructions

  • Pre-heat the broiler and line a pan with tin foil.
  • Cut the eggplant into 2 in. rounds and lay flat on the lined broiler pan. (NOTE: I grilled the eggplant.)
  • Measure the olive oil into a small bowl and brush it evenly on both sides of the eggplant rounds.
  • Sprinkle with kosher salt and pepper.
  • Broil eggplant 5 minutes per side, until browned, and place in a glass casserole dish. Reduce oven heat to 350.
  • Meanwhile, in a small pan, toast pine nuts over low heat until browned, about 5-6 minutes. Do not walk away!
  • While this is happening, heat a large pan to medium-high and spray with non-stick spray.
  • Brown beef with a sprinkle of salt and pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice 5-7 minutes using a wooden spoon. Add onions and squash and continue cooking for additional 5-7 minutes until onions are translucent.
  • Add chicken broth and deglaze the pan using the back of a wooden spoon to scrape up brown bits.
  • Add in tomatoes and toasted pine nuts then remove from heat.
  • Carefully pour the meat/tomato mixture over the eggplant rounds and bake for 45 minutes.
  • Serve with plain yogurt, fresh parsley and extra pine nuts.

 

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Spirit-Filled Life

Early every morning
I walk around our backyard
admiring the plants
and Freddy walks with me.
I find inspiration
in the beauty of the hydrangeas.
The clematis.
The dill.
The eggplant.
The jalapenos.
The tomatoes.
The lettuce.
The basil and cilantro.
The parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme.
The butterfly bush.
The blue thistle.
The zinnias.
The Russian Sage.
The coral bells.
The coneflowers.
Such beauty and
Abundance.
Thank You God.

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Roasted Eggplant, Lentil, Orzo Stew

A few days ago, I arrived home from the grocery store with 5 or 6 bags of groceries, mostly vegetables for our “Soup Every Day Project.” I shop twice every week and I know most of the cashiers by name and they know my name. Some even know our dog’s name, Freddy, as I have given them his business card. Yes. He has a business card because he is a very good boy and cute as a button.

Anyway, Susan saw that I had bought an eggplant and she said “Bruce, what do you plan on cooking with the eggplant?” I answered, “I thought I might make eggplant parm or moussaka.” And she said, “I just found this interesting recipe for eggplant. What not take a look at it.” And I did and I said, “Susan, that sounds delicious.” And it was delicious.

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ pounds eggplant (2 small or 1 large, skin on, or peeled, if desired), chopped into 1-inch pieces
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon coriander seeds, crushed
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1 medium carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup dried lentils (green, black or brown)
  • 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock, or water
  • ½ cup orzo or other small pasta, such as ditalini, stelline or macaroni
  • Zest and juice from 1 lemon, plus 4 lemon wedges for garnish
  • ¼ cup shaved ricotta salata or crumbled feta

Preparation

  1. Heat the oven to 425 degrees. In a large bowl, toss the eggplant with 1/4 cup olive oil and crushed coriander seeds until coated; season with salt and pepper. Arrange in an even layer on a large rimmed baking sheet and roast until eggplant is tender and golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes, giving the baking sheet a shake halfway through roasting to toss the eggplant pieces for even cooking.
  2. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium. Add the carrot, onion and celery. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened, about 3 minutes.
  3. Stir in the garlic and tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until tomato paste begins to darken on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes.
  4. Stir in the lentils until coated. Pour in stock or water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower to medium and simmer until lentils are tender, 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the type and age of lentils you use.
  5. Stir in the orzo and cook until softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon zest and juice.
  6. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Top with the roasted eggplant pieces and large shavings of ricotta salata, and serve with lemon wedges for squeezing.

Gheimeh Baademjaan, Persian Seared Eggplant with Beef and Tomatoes

Delicious!

Based on a recipe from Honest & Tasty.

Ingredients
  • 1 large Eggplant or the equivalent amount of the smaller eggplant variety
  • 2 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1/2 pounds of Lean Ground Beef
  • 1/2 Vidalia Onion, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Turmeric Powder
  • Salt and pepper
  • 6 Campari Tomatoes), rinsed and cut into wedges
  • 1/2 cup of Sour Cream
  • 1 teaspoon of freshly minced garlic

Directions:

  1. Peel eggplant (I know. The skin is good for you but we just don’t like it.) Dice 1/4 inch cubes. Fry until cooked in hot oil. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  2. Cook till almost soft the onion and red pepper. Add garlic and cook for another minute or two. Set aside.
  3. Cook beef stirring often.  Return eggplant, red pepper, and onions to pan. Heat for 5-10 minutes. Add tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes until tomatoes are heated through.
  4. Serve with sour cream or yogurt over noodles—-if desired.

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