Traditional recipes

Harissa Lamb Stuffed Eggplant Recipe

Harissa Lamb Stuffed Eggplant Recipe

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Remove the stems from the chiles, and if you don’t like it hot, remove the seeds too. This recipe is VERY hot, so unless you really like heat, consider removing half of the seeds to make it somewhat bearable. Even if you remove all of the seeds it will still be a solid 4 on the heat scale. Pour boiling water over the chiles to just barely cover them and allow them to sit for 20 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425˚F (220˚C, or gas mark 7). Split the eggplants in half the long way. Generously rub with olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast the eggplants skin side down for about 30 minutes, until browned. Toss that red pepper into the oven and let it roast for the first 10 minutes with the eggplant. Remove the eggplant from the oven and turn it down to 375˚F (190˚C, or gas mark 5). Using a sharp spoon, make a cavern in the eggplants to put the filling, but you don’t need to remove a ton. Roughly chop the removed eggplant.

Strain the chiles and add them to a food processor. Peel and seed the roasted red pepper. Add the pepper and rest of the harissa ingredients to the food processor and blend until smooth.

In a hot pan with a little olive oil, sear the lamb to brown. Add the harissa paste and the eggplant insides and cook for about 5 to 7 minutes, until well combined. Remove from the heat and stir in parsley.

Spoon the lamb mixture into the eggplants, leaving any excess fat behind. Place on a baking sheet and roast the eggplants for 30 minutes.

Add the feta and cream cheese to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth. Add the rest of the ingredients and let it whip for 1 minute. Taste and add salt if needed. Serve the feta on the side with the eggplants.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 (1 pound) eggplant, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 large sweet onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 large stalks celery, sliced
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 pinches dried oregano
  • 2 pinches ground dried rosemary
  • 2 pinches paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon dried mint
  • 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 ½ teaspoons garlic, minced
  • 3 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 (15 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 lemon, juiced, or to taste

Place eggplant in a colander set in a bowl or the sink sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt and toss to coat. Let eggplant stand for at least 1 hour. Rinse off the bitter liquid and excess salt and drain well.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion and celery cook and stir until onion has softened and turned translucent and celery is fragrant, about 5 minutes.

While vegetables are cooking, combine ground cumin, oregano, rosemary, paprika, mint, salt, and black pepper in a small bowl or mortar and pestle and mix well this is the lamb seasoning (see Cook's Note). Set seasoning aside.

Stir eggplant cubes and garlic into the vegetables in the skillet, mixing well, and cook for an additional 5 minutes. Add chopped tomatoes and sprinkle with half of the lamb seasoning mixture. Reserve remaining seasoning. Stir gently and cook for 5 minutes more.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Grease a 2-quart casserole dish.

Pour chicken broth and half the can of tomato sauce into the skillet and simmer for 10 minutes add a little water if the sauce starts to get dry. Transfer the sauce to the prepared casserole dish.

Return the skillet to the stove over medium-high heat and heat the reserved tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Place ground lamb into skillet and sprinkle with remaining seasoning mixture. Brown lamb in the hot oil, stirring frequently, until the meat is evenly browned it should look like imperfect meatballs.

Gently transfer the lamb to the casserole dish, pushing it down into the vegetable mixture so that it is at least partially submerged. Stir fresh lemon juice into the remaining tomato sauce and pour the sauce over the casserole.

Bake uncovered for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending upon how tender you like your vegetables.

Recipe Summary

  • 2 large eggplants, halved lengthwise
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • ½ green bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 ¼ cups marinara sauce
  • 1 (8 ounce) package crumbled feta cheese
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • ½ cup dry bread crumbs
  • ½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.

Brush the cut surfaces of the eggplant halves with half of the olive oil. Place cut-side-up onto the baking sheet, and place into the oven. Bake the eggplant for 30 minutes until tender. Once done, remove and allow to cool slightly. Scoop out the flesh, leaving the shells 1/2 inch thick. Remove as many of the seeds as you can, then coarsely chop the flesh, and place into a large mixing bowl.

Meanwhile, heat the remaining olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground lamb, and cook for a few minutes until it begins to crumble. Stir in the onion, bell pepper, garlic, cinnamon, allspice, and black pepper. Cook until the onion has softened, and the lamb is no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Place the meat mixture into the bowl with the eggplant, and stir in the marinara sauce, feta cheese, eggs, and bread crumbs until well mixed.

Evenly divide the lamb mixture into the eggplant shells, then return the eggplant to the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then sprinkle with the mozzarella, and reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Bake until the filling has set, and the mozzarella has turned golden brown, about 25 minutes more.

2. Mirza Ghasemi | Smoked Eggplants and Tomatoes

Whatever you have tried in Northern Iranian cuisine, Mirza Ghasemi would make them forgettable. This fantastic traditional dish is made from smoked eggplants and then mashed evenly.

The weird thing about Mirza Ghasemi is that you cannot guess the dish is made from eggplants. The heavenly taste food can be a perfect choice for a light meal. the dish is served with bread. It can also be a side dish, besides being light main dish.

The garlic plays a significant role in the flavor of the cuisine. It never happens to someone who travels to north of Iran and does not taste or at least hear the name of the dish.

If you love this recipe.

Moroccan-Spiced Roasted Carrots

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Moroccan Lentil-Stuffed Eggplant

Saucy Moroccan-Spiced Lentils

How to Roast the Eggplant

I know this recipe is heavy on the ingredients, but it is very simple to prepare! I promise! Before you start, make sure your oven is HOT (500 degrees). Once the eggplant has roasted for about 12 minutes, the halves will soften and the centers will begin to cave-in creating perfect boats to stuff with the lamb filling. If the centers do not cave in enough, simply take the back-end of a large spoon and gently press down into the flesh of the eggplant until they begin to cave.

Spicy stuffed eggplant

1 Heat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas 6. Put the couscous in a bowl and pour in 1/3 cup boiling water. Cover and leave to stand for 5 min or until the water has been absorbed.

2 Meanwhile, cut away the flesh from inside the eggplant halves using a small sharp knife, leaving a 1cm thick layer in the skins, then scoop out with a spoon. Dice the flesh.

3 Heat a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat and spray with olive oil. Add the diced eggplant flesh, harissa paste, garlic and spring onions. Cook for 3–4 min until soft.

4 Remove the frying pan from the heat. Add the couscous with the last of the ingredients, except the cheese. Mix well, then spoon into the skins and sprinkle with the cheese.

5 Put the stuffed eggplant halves into a small baking dish. Pour a little boiling water into the dish around the eggplant to just cover the base. Bake for 20 min or until the eggplant is tender and the topping is golden. Serve garnished with extra chopped mint.

  • ⅔ cup water plus 1 tablespoon, divided
  • ½ cup whole-wheat couscous (see Tip)
  • ½ teaspoon salt, divided
  • 2 medium eggplants (about 1 pound each)
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 teaspoons harissa paste or 1/2 teaspoon harissa seasoning
  • ½ cup chopped smoke-flavored almonds
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley

Preheat grill to medium-high.

Combine 2/3 cup water, couscous and 1/8 teaspoon salt in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Remove from heat, cover and set aside.

Halve eggplants through the stem brush the cut sides with 2 tablespoons oil and sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Grill the eggplants, flipping once halfway, until charred and tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Let cool for 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, mash garlic with the remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt on a cutting board with a fork. Combine the garlic paste, mayonnaise, harissa and the remaining 1 tablespoon water in a small bowl.

Leaving a 1/4-inch-thick wall, carefully scoop out the eggplant flesh and chop. Stir the eggplant flesh into the couscous along with almonds, parsley and the remaining 1 tablespoon oil. Mound the filling in the eggplant shells. Serve with the sauce.

Tip: Light and fluffy couscous is made by rolling coarse semolina flour, resulting in small round granules. Choosing a whole-wheat variety gives you three times the fiber of white.

Cooked eggplant has a very mild taste and a creamy texture, it's the perfect base for all of those other bold flavors! In fact, I would wager that even eggplant haters would love this dish as it takes on all of the flavors of the other ingredients. The salty feta, fatty lamb, sweet pomegranate seeds and acidic lemon all work so wonderfully together.

Eggplant is a great vegetable to incorporate into your diet. They are a nutrient dense food that is high in fiber and low in calories. They contain high numbers of antioxidants that can help to prevent heart disease and free radicals. Check out the other benefits of the humble eggplant here.

They are really easy to incorporate into lots of meals, check out my Cheesy Layered Roasted Vegetable Pie and Roasted Vegetable Crumble for more ways to use eggplant.


  1. Lamb and Rice Filling
    1. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat, then add the onion and pepper, stir, and cook for 3𔃃 minutes. Stir in the garlic and crumble in the ground meat. Raise the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring, for 5𔃄 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and the mixture is starting to dry out and brown a little in the pan. Tilt the pan and spoon out any excess fat from the lamb. Sprinkle in the seasonings, stir, then add the tomatoes and puree, then the stock. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to dissolve the brown bits that have accumulated. Add the rice and herbs, and stir and cook a couple of minutes, until warmed through. Taste and adjust seasoning to your liking. When the filling is well mixed, moist, and flavorful—but not wet—remove it from the heat and let it cool.
    1. Preheat the oven to 400°F.
    2. Combine all the ingredients except the eggplants in a small bowl.
    3. Cut the stem end from each eggplant, then cut it in half lengthwise. Take a look at the flesh, and if it is creamy white and not too seedy, don’t worry about salting it. However, if it is a little darker, with numerous seeds, there’s a good chance the juices will be slightly bitter, so you’ll want to extract them. To do this, sprinkle the cut sides with about a teaspoon of salt each and place them cut side down on a plate or tray lined with a double thickness of paper towels. Place another plate or tray on top and weight that with a couple of pounds (cans of beans work well). Set aside for 10󈝻 minutes, then remove the weight and brush the salt off the surface, or rinse with running water and pat dry. Cut a shallow crosshatch pattern in the cut surface of the eggplant and brush generously with the flavored oil. Place the eggplant halves cut sides up on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake for about 20 minutes, rotating the pan once, until the eggplants are very soft when you squeeze the sides and the surface is golden brown. Cool completely.
    1. With your fingers or a spoon, press the tender eggplant flesh to the sides, making a bed for the filling. Divide the filling among the halves. Sprinkle the bread crumb topping evenly over the filling and pat it lightly. Bake the filled eggplants for about 15 minutes, or until they’re heated through and the crumbs are browned.

    From Crescent City Cooking by Susan Spicer Copyright (c) 2007 by Susan Spicer Published by Knopf.

    Susan Spicer was born in Key West, Florida, and lived in Holland until the age of seven, when her family moved to New Orleans. She has lived there ever since, and is the owner of two restaurants, Bayona and Herbsaint. This is her first cookbook.

    Paula Disbrowe was the former Cowgirl Chef at Hart & Hind Fitness Ranch in Rio Frio, Texas. Prior to that, she spent ten years working as a food and travel writer. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Food & Wine, and Saveur, among other major publications.

    Watch the video: Aubergine Eggplant Stuffed with Lamb Recipe (May 2022).