When we were in Turkey, Janice and I gorged ourselves on Turkish food. I love Middle-Eastern food in general. Its incredibly flavourful and full of vegetables (if you choose correctly). With my mom being a vegetarian, I’m always looking for new exciting meals for her (and for myself). This is a meal I’ve made several times. Its an easy one to modify depending on your tastes as well. This version is pretty straightforward but in the past I have added nuts of various kinds, different types of cheese and dried fruit. I love the pairing of eggplant and goat cheese though and I would suggest trying this first! The rice is a nice backdrop but the eggplant could be a light meal by itself.
Goat Cheese Stuffed Eggplant in Tomato Sauce
- 2-4 eggplants (depending on size)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 small onions, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 8 oz goat cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
- 3 lb ripe tomatoes, diced (peeled if desired)
- 4-5 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tsp cumin, ground if whole
- 2 tsp coriander, ground if whole
- 1 medium onions, minced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 3 tbsp fresh mint
- 3 fresh cilantro
- salt and pepper
- Slice eggplants in half and char in olive oil on both sides over high heat. Lwer heat and cook, cut side down, until flesh is soft. Remove from heat and scoop out eggplant flesh. Reserve the skins.
- Saute onions and garlic until soft and golden and add to eggplant along with goat cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
- Stuff the goat cheese mixture into the hollowed out eggplant skins and set aside.
- For the sauce: Heat olive oil in a deep frying pan over medium heat, add cumin and coriander and stir briefly before adding onions and garlic. Reduce heat until golden and soft.
- Add tomatoes and cinnamon as well as salt and pepper to taste and let cook for 1-2 minutes until softened.
- Nestle the stuffed eggplants back into the tomato sauce and simmer, covered for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove eggplants and sprinkle mint and coriander onto sauce. Remove from heat and serve on rice with eggplant halves.
Lemon Saffron Rice
- 4 tbsp. butter
- 2 cups long grain rice
- 5 cups chicken stock
- 2 generous pinches saffron
- 2 tbsp lemon zest
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro