Wednesday, September 7, 2011
I've been growing Fairytale eggplant this year, which are adorable purple and white speckled fruits about the size of my thumb (below). They cook up very tender and have way fewer seeds than traditional eggplants. They're also the perfect size for cooking in smaller amounts or, in this case, making individual portions. I love them so much, I've pretty much decided that I will always grow these. If you can't find fairytale eggplants, try any long and thin eggplants (you can cut them in half to form more individual-sized portions).
10-12 fairytale eggplants
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound ground lamb
about 15 cherry tomatoes, halved or quartered
2 Tbsp minced fresh mint
3 Tbsp minced fresh parsley
zest of half a lemon
salt and pepper
Cut each eggplant in half and scoop out the insides, leaving about a 1/4 inch wall. Place scooped-out eggplants in a bowl of salted water to prevent browning. Chop up the insides of the eggplant, discarding any areas that are mostly seeds, and set aside.
In a large pan, heat oil over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until onions are translucent. Add lamb and chopped eggplant, and cook until lamb is well browned, breaking up any big pieces as you go. Remove from heat and drain off excess fat. Add cayenne, cinnamon, and nutmeg to taste (go easy on the nutmeg). Stir in tomatoes, mint, parsley, and lemon zest. Salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with tin foil. Remove eggplant halves, one by one, from water, and fill the cavity in the center with lamb mixture. If you press the mixture in with a spoon, you can mound it up a bit. Place on the baking sheet and repeat with remaining eggplant. Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until eggplants are easily pierced with a fork.