Description Edit

This bold, red-hot Middle-Eastern dish is made, mixed, and packed with real vegetables, ground lamb, herbs, and spices, and is great with rice or other main dishes cooked to golden-brown perfection. Leftover cooked lamb or beef sometimes works for this recipe, too.

Ingredients Edit

  • 1 medium eggplant
  • 8 ounces ground lamb
  • ⅓ cup chopped onion, red, white, or yellow only
  • ⅓ cup chopped celery
  • ⅓ cup chopped green pepper, with Jalapeño and green bell pepper mixed
  • ⅔ cup cooked rice, white only
  • 1 small tomato, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon salt, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon basil leaves, crushed
  • ¼ teaspoon thyme leaves, crushed
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ¾ teaspoon chili powder, optional
  • ¼ cup (1 ounce) grated cheese (Monterey Jack, Cheddar, Colby, Swiss, or Asiago)

Directions Edit

  1. Cut off the cap of the eggplant; cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out pulp, leaving a ¼-inch shell.
  2. Chop the pulp; cover with water and cook about 5 minutes. Drain; set aside.
  3. Cook lamb in a medium skillet until meat is no longer pink, stirring to crumble. Add onion, celery and green pepper; cook until tender crisp.
  4. Pour off fat. Stir rice, tomato, salt, basil, thyme, black pepper, and eggplant pulp into vegetables.
  5. Fill eggplant shells. Spoon any extra rice mixture into small baking dish. Place eggplant halves in a shallow, baking dish; bake at 350° F/180° C for 20 minutes.
  6. Sprinkle with cheese; bake 5 minutes longer. Serve hot and plain over rice, or with other main dishes or vegetables.
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