It’s been about a week since I have done a recipe post and I am having major withdrawals!!! Sometimes I feel like this blog is just my interweb diary, and unless I’ve written on it several times in a week, I get a little antzy. This past weekend I was away in Denver, and came home needing a major detox, both from food and from life; Like no more cell phone past 7 pm, no worrying about work the next day, cook my dinner and eat it wherever I darn well please, take a bath and read a book, lay with my doggies in bed for hours kind of detox, ya know? I think sometimes we get so caught up in the everyday motions of life, that we forget to do these simple things to nurture and refresh our minds. We all need a little “me time” every now and then :). Of course, I have to begin by cooking myself something healthy, and if you know me at all, you can probably guess I am putting eggplant in it.
Not sure why or how I came up with this recipe, but boy was it good. I don’t know what it is about eggplant, but I could literally eat it every meal of the day. I never really ate it growing up, but this past year has been a very adventurous one for me, and I have tried so many new foods – I don’t really know how I ever lived without them.
I saw these baby eggplants at the store, in several beautiful colors, and I just had to try them all.
I started out by sautéing the garlic in olive oil, then setting it aside. Next, I sautéed the onion in the same pan, with a little more oil, and after about 5-7 minutes I added in the ground meat.
I seasoned with salt, chopped up the meat into very tiny pieces, and cooked it on medium heat. About 5 minutes towards the end, I added in the seasonings, garlic, pine nuts, and homemade tomato sauce that I was simmering while this was cooking. While all of this was going on, I had the eggplants roasting in the oven, turning every 15 minutes, for about 30 minutes.
Then, once the filling was done, I took the eggplants out, sliced them open, but not all the way through, and filled with the meat. I then baked them for an additional 15-20 minutes and topped with parsley to serve.
While I was doing all this, my doggies were catching every last bite under my feet, what good babies they are trying to save me from more time mopping!
- 6 baby eggplants
- 1/2 head of garlic, sliced in mandolin
- 1/2 sweet yellow onion, minced
- 1 lb. ground meat (bison, beef, lamb)
- 2 oz. pine nuts
- 2 roma tomatoes, chopped into small cubes
- 1 tsp. allspice (may need to add a few pinches more)
- pinch of cinnamon
- olive oil
- 4 oz. parsley, minced
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Place eggplants whole onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, salt and drizzle olive oil onto them, and put into the oven (turn every 15 minutes). (While they cook, be sure to start the next steps). Cook for a total of 25-30 minutes, or until tender. Then, remove them and slice an opening down the center, making sure not to cut through the bottom.
- In a small sauce pan, sauté tomatoes in a little drizzle of olive oil for a few minutes, salt, then cover and simmer low for about 20 minutes, until you have a nice little sauce. While you are doing this step, start the next.
- In a large nonstick pan, heat olive oil and sauté garlic for about 3 minutes until golden. Remove the garlic, add a touch more oil to the pan, and sauté the onions for about 5-7 minutes, until they begin to turn translucent. Next, add in the ground meat, salt generously, and cook on medium. Make sure you break up all the pieces of meat really well so it fits nicely into the eggplant. Once the meat is almost cooked, add in cinnamon, all spice, tomato sauce, pine nuts, test for seasoning, and cook for another 5 minutes on medium-low.
- Next, Salt and drizzle olive oil into the opening of the eggplants (it is very important here to salt the eggplant, otherwise the taste is a little bland). Place the meat filling in the eggplants, and put in the oven for about 20 minutes. Once the eggplant is tender throughout, remove, top with parsley, and serve!