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Stuffed eggplants on a platter ready to serve

Lebanese Stuffed Baby Eggplant

These little individual sized eggplants from@cosetteskitchen are stuffed to the brim with seasoned ground beef and topped with a sauce created using Italian Crushed Tomatoes and served with the one and only Lebanese rice.

INGREDIENTS

  • Meat Mixture:
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef, or lamb
  • 2 tablespoons DeLallo Private Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 medium onions, diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, additional to taste (if using table salt, HALF your salt)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts, optional
  • Tomato Sauce:
  • 1 tablespoon DeLallo Private Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • (2) 24 oz. jars of DeLallo Imported Italian Crushed Tomatoes
  • 1 cup (8 oz.) water
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, additional to taste (if using table salt HALF your salt)
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1.5 teaspoons allspice (can sub mixed spice or cinnamon)
  • 1 teaspoon granulated sugar
  • Baby Eggplant:
  • 12 baby eggplants, they should be about the size of your hand 4-5 inches (about 3 pounds)
  • 2 tablespoons DeLallo Private Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Rice - use any rice you'd like

DIRECTIONS

  1. Meat Mixture:
  2. Begin with a large 12-14" sauté pan or skillet.
  3. Dice your onions and heat 2 tablespoons of DeLallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil in your large skillet or sauté pan.
  4. Allow your onions to cook for 10-12 minutes until they begin to soften and become translucent. Stir every few minutes.
  5. Next, add your lean ground beef and salt, continue to cook on medium-high heat, breaking up the meat for 30-40 minutes until liquid is fully absorbed and meat is broken into fine crumbles.
  6. Add your cinnamon, black pepper and any additional salt (adjust to taste, will probably need another teaspoon) and pine nuts (if using). Allow to cook on medium-high for another 5 minutes. Once done, turn off heat and set aside until ready to stuff.
  7. Tomato Sauce:
  8. Begin with a 3 quart (or larger) sauce pot or wide skillet.
  9. Dice your onion and heat 1 tablespoon of DeLallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil into your sauce pot.
  10. Allow onion to cook for 5 minutes until just beginning to soften.
  11. Next, add your chopped garlic and cook for just 1 minute until it becomes fragrant. **Cooking too long will burn the garlic, keep an eye on it!
  12. Immediately add your DeLallo Crushed Italian Tomatoes and water. Allow to come to a boil then reduce to a simmer uncovered. Add your allspice, salt, pepper and sugar. Allow to cook for 30 minutes until just thickened.
  13. Baby Eggplant:
  14. Place your oven rack in the upper third and set to broil.
  15. To prepare your eggplants, remove just the green leaves at the stem. Keep the stem intact to ensure your eggplants don't fall apart when cooking and stuffing.
  16. After removing the green leaves, with a vegetable peeler or paring knife - peel 3 stripes into the skin of the eggplant.
  17. Arrange on a large baking pan (14-16") with sides that are at least 2" high.
  18. Add 2 tablespoons of DeLallo Extra Virgin Olive Oil and massage to coat all the eggplants evenly.
  19. Place under broiler for 5 minutes, after 5 minutes flip eggplants and continue to broil for another 5, remove again, flip and broil one more time.
  20. The eggplants should be soft and have a slight char to them. Remove from the oven and set to 400 degrees.
  21. Once cool enough to handle, make a slit in the center (be sure not to cut through to the bottom) and stuff each eggplant with 2-3 heaping teaspoons of your ground beef mixture.
  22. Repeat with all eggplants then top and surround with your tomato sauce.
  23. Bake for 40-45 minutes at 400°F.
  24. Remove from the oven and serve immediately with rice. Garnish with chopped parsley and additional pine nuts if desired.

Lebanese Stuffed Baby Eggplant

These little individual sized eggplants from@cosetteskitchen are stuffed to the brim with seasoned ground beef and topped with a sauce created using Italian Crushed Tomatoes and served with the one and only Lebanese rice.