Eggplant stuffed with Ground Lamb

I’ve rediscovered eggplant as of late, and enjoy making any dish that calls for roasting them.  While I grew up with eggplant making appearances at dinner, in Korean cooking it is generally raw or very lightly tossed in a pan and so you never really got that wonderful, rich eggplant flavor.  This makes for an easy dinner that looks beautiful and goes very nicely with any rich red wine, we like using a California Zinfandel.




  • 1 lb ground lamb (or ground beef but ground lamb has a nice flavor)
  • 1 yellow onion (diced)
  • 2 serrano peppers (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 vine ripened tomato
  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp coriander
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • EVOO


  1. In a large pan, add some olive oil and sauté the onions until translucent, about 10 minutes with the cumin and coriander and salt.  Add the ground lamb and cook until browned, about 10-15 minutes.
  2. In the meantime, heat your oven to 400 degrees.  Cut the eggplants in half length-wise, drizzle with olive oil and place on foil on a baking sheet.  Scoop out a little bit of each eggplant where the seeds are.
  3. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes or until the edges of the eggplant are starting to look crispy.
  4. Keep the heat on in the oven after roasting the eggplants, and add about 1/4 of the ground lamb mixture to each eggplant, carefully mounding them on top of the eggplants.  Add a tomato slice and half of a pepper.
  5. Return to the oven, and bake at 400 degrees for another 20 minutes.
  6. Serve immediately!

Eggplant and Beef Albondigas

Recently I was at an Israeli restaurant in Manhattan where we ordered a dish with Japanese eggplant, thinly sliced and grilled with a wonderful sauce on it.  I was reminded of how much I love grilled and roasted eggplants, and so when I found this recipe was very excited to see that eggplants were a part of it.  And after all, who doesn’t love meatballs.  It was a homey comforting kind of meal, and would be good for a day with it’s cold out.



For the sauce

  • 3 medium eggplants
  • 2 red bell peppers
  • 5 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup water

For the meatballs

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 tbsp bread crumbs
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • salt and ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh herbs, such as parsley or cilantro
  • oil for frying


1. Prepare the sauce Place the eggplants under a broiler and cook until charred.

2. Cool slightly and then peel the eggplants and scoop out the flesh.  Transfer to a colander and let it drain for about an hour.  Chop the flesh coarsely and set aside.

3. Place the bell peppers under the broiler as well and cook until charred, and then remove from oven, let cool slightly and remove the skins, seeds, and membranes.  Chop coarsely and set aside.

4. Prepare the meatballs  Combine the meat, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, salt, pepper and parsley in a large bowl.  Knead thoroughly with your hands and refrigerate the mixture for 30 minutes.

5. Preheat the oven to 300 F

6. Wet you hands or rub them with oil and form meatballs a little smaller than the size of a golf ball.

7. Heat the oil in a large skillet (I had to use a 10″ and a 12″ skillet to get everything to fit).  Add the meatballs and brown for 1-2 minutes.  Shake the skillets to roll the meatballs in the oil.  Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to drain.

8. In a large bowl, combine the reserved eggplants, reserved bell peppers, the garlic, lemon juice, sugar, salt, tomato paste, water and mix well.

9. Arrange the meatballs in one layer in a shallow ovenproof saucepan and pour over the sauce.

10. Bring to a boil on medium heat, cover, and transfer to the oven for 1 hour.  Serve hot over rice or couscous.

Serves 6-8 (or 3-4 very hungry people)

Adapted from Jewish Soul Food by Janna Gur.

Lamb and Eggplant Casserole

Lamb and Eggplant Casserole

Since I began this blog, I have been going back to old cookbooks and perusing recipes. Every now and then, I find an old treasure – something that was once well-loved and somehow was forgotten. Much to my surprise, in one of the old cookbooks, I found this brief, hand-written recipe for something that felt like finding an old friend. I had totally forgotten about this recipe which is rather amazing because we all loved it and when Frances’ husband was younger, I made this dish quite often since it was a favorite of his – all of ours really. It’s ridiculously simple to make and so rich in flavors. There might be prettier dishes, but few that could claim to be tastier. I served it with a crisp green salad and a good crusty bread. I wish you could smell just how wonderful this dish is!

Lamb and Eggplant Casserole

Yields: 6 servings


1/4 cup EVOO

2 pounds lamb stew meat (ask for the shoulder), cut into 2 inch cubes

1 pound of Italian sausage, cut into 1 inch thick slices (any kind will work – beef, pork, turkey – hot or sweet)

3 yellow onions, halved and thinly sliced

4 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

1 large eggplant, cubed (do NOT peel)

2 cups, full-bodied red wine, like a cabernet

4 small bay leaves (fresh or dried)

a good handful of chopped flat-leaf parsley

Kosher salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

28 oz. chopped San Marzano tomatoes or 1 large box of Pomi tomatoes


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large skillet (preferably cast iron), brown well the lamb cubes in batches in about 2 Tablespoons of the EVOO. When the lamb cubes are browned, place them in a Dutch Oven. lamb cubes
  3. In the same skillet, brown the Italian sausage. When nicely browned, add the sausage to the Dutch Oven with the lamb. sausage
  4. Adding another tablespoon of EVOO, add the onions and sliced garlic and saute until softened and the pieces begin to get translucent. Transfer them to the Dutch Oven when ready.
  5. Add the final tablespoon of EVOO to the same skillet and add the cubed eggplant. On high heat, brown the cubes, which will have also become tender. eggplant
  6. Add them to the Dutch Oven. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the Dutch Oven and gently mix everything together. unbaked lamb and eggplant casserole
  7. Cover the Dutch Oven and place in the oven to bake for 1.5 hours. This can be made a day ahead and reheated at 325 degrees F. for 30 minutes.

Greek Eggplant Dip: Melitzanosalata

While traveling through the Peloponnese, we were always surprised by how delicious the food was.  Which… after the first three places we ate really should not have been a surprise.  However, we discovered early on that there was a tasty eggplant dip that seemed so simple in nature that we decided we had to try making it when we came home.

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I avoided eggplants for years.  Growing up in a Korean-American household, we often would fry the eggplants with some batter (which actually was delicious) but we more often would just steam the eggplant.  The minute I walked down to dinner and saw the steamed eggplant, the ungrateful teenager that I was, I would grumble and denigrate the unassuming eggplant.

Then Lisa introduced me to the world (a better world) where eggplants were steamed and diced and chopped with red peppers and the like, and a newfound stage in my eggplant relationship began.

In Greece we frequently came across the English menu that said “Aubergine salad.”  Being ignorant of what that could be, I could only think… well… I’ve bought some “Aubergine” colored clothing, so by similar process of elimination that must be… Eggplant?   And sure enough it was.

This is all to say, if you were an anti-Eggplanter as I once was, give it another chance.  It might just surprise you!


  • 4 large purple eggplants
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 125 ml olive oil (1/2 cup)
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch fresh parsley, chopped (I used a ton of parsley, but this is really up to you)


  1. To prepare this super easy melitzanosalata recipe (Greek eggplant dip), start by baking the eggplants. You could either bake them whole or sliced, depending on the time you have available. If you choose to bake them whole, use a fork to make some wholes on the aubergines, place on a tray and bake for about 1 hour. Alternatively for a quicker version of this melitzanosalata recipe, cut the eggplants in slices and place them on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Coat with olive oil, sprinkle with fresh thyme, season with salt and pepper and add 1-2 cloves of garlic. Cover with parchment paper and bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, until tender.
  2. For this melitzanosalata recipe you need to use only the flesh of the eggplants. Peel the eggplants and dice the pulp.
  3. Place the pulp and the other ingredients in a large bowl and vigorously mix with a wooden spoon. (If you prefer your melitzanosalata to have a creamier texture, then add the ingredients in a blender or food processor and pulse, adding the olive oil gradually on a steady stream. Alternatively mash the eggplants using a fork). Let the melitzanosalata (Greek eggplant dip) cool down and put in the fridge to allow the flavours to mingle.
  4. Serve the melitzanosalata in a small bowl garnished with a whole black olive. Enjoy!

Adapted from “My Greek Dish.