I’m so excited to finally share this braised eggplant with ground lamb with you all – I made it almost a whole month ago and I haven’t stopped thinking about it since!
The recipe came out of a craving for eggplant… for days, all I wanted was eggplant that was cooked until it was so tender that it collapsed in on itself. I had no idea what I wanted the rest of the meal to be, but once I got the image of that eggplant in my head I just couldn’t shake it. The end result – tender, braised eggplant and tomatoes cooked with richly spiced lamb and topped with cool yogurt sauce and tangy cucumbers – ended up being perfect and is one of my favorite meals of 2012.
I’ve been tempted to publish it a few times since then, but I really wanted to save it for my first post of 2013.
You may have seen sneak peeks of this recipe already – I’ve been using the image at the top as my Facebook cover photo and as my twitter background for a few weeks.
This recipe symbolizes everything that I want this blog to be this year: first, and most importantly, it’s absolutely delicious. It’s simple, but all of the components work together in harmony to create a thoroughly enjoyable meal. It was fun to cook, and to eat, as is one of those meals that reminds me how much I love being in the kitchen.
This is also one of the first (if not the very first, it’s easy to lose track) nights that I was brave enough to take my camera of AV mode and shoot in manual. I was incredibly inspired by Bree when she spoke about photography at Mixed earlier in the month, and took her advice of reading the book Understanding Exposure. This book makes everything about photography make so much sense! (Bree also took my new headshot, which I’m completely in love with!)
I’m still not finished with it, but it’s already made a huge difference in my photos. It takes me less time to get the shots that I want, so I have more time to play around and be creative with them. I’ve also been able to perfect them more in the camera, so I spend less time processing them on the computer – just a few small tweaks and they’re good to go! I’m really proud of all the photos I took last month and I’m excited to learn more.
Braised Eggplant with Ground Lamb
- 1 cup Plain Fat Free Greek Yogurt
- 1 Lemon juiced
- ½ English seedless Cucumber, cut in half lengthwise and thinly sliced into half moons
- 1 Tablespoon Red Wine Vinegar
- ¼ cup White Vinegar
- ½ teaspoon Coriander Seeds
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 2 Garlic Cloves crushed
- 1 Eggplant peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
- 2 cups Mini-Heirloom or Grape Tomatoes halved
- 1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
- 1 pound Ground Lamb
- 1 Tablespoon Ras El Hanout
- 1 Tablespoon Double-Concentrated Tomato Paste
- ½ cup Water
- 2 ounces Feta crumbled
- ¼ cup loosely packed Fresh Parsley torn
- Fresh Pita Bread for serving
- In a small bowl, mix together the yogurt and lemon juice. Season with a pinch of salt. Cover and set aside. In a second bowl, combine the cucumbers, vinegars, and coriander seeds. Cover and set aside.
- Heat oven to 400*F. Coat the bottom of a heavy, oven safe pot (like a dutch oven) with oil. Add the eggplant, garlic, and tomatoes. Cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes or until tomatoes begin to collapse in on themselves.
- Meanwhile, heat the second tablespoon of oil in a large skillet set over medium heat until it begins to shimmer. Add the lamb and ras el hanout. Cook, breaking the meat up with a wooden spoon, 10 minutes, or until browned and almost cooked through. Drain off and discard the fat.
- Add the cooked lamb to the pot of vegetables. Stir in the tomato paste and water. Cover and cook 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is very tender and most of the liquid has cooked off. Sprinkle with feta and parsley. Serve with yogurt sauce, pickled cucumbers, and fresh pita.
14 thoughts on “Braised Eggplant with Ground Lamb”
I made this tonight without any changes to the recipe. It was absolutely wonderful. Great flavor and very easy to make. I highly recommend!
Do you cook this dish covered in the oven for the last step, or on the stovetop?
In the oven
Hi! I was wondering what size eggplant you used in this recipe?
Hey there! It was an average size eggplant, maybe about 6 inches long and 4 inches in diameter?
Thanks Lauren! I made this tonight and it was amazing! I used ground veal instead of lamb, sauteed a chopped onion with the meat, added a bit of extra tomato paste, and garnished with cilantro instead of parsley. I also didn’t have feta. I didn’t make the pickles, but I made the yogurt/lemon mix and it really complimented the dish well. I also served it with the Moroccan spiced carrot dip from SliceOfFeist.com and I think you would like it! It all went so well together. Anyway, thanks for the great recipe!
Outstanding recipe. Followed it to the letter except I didn’t have corriander seeds just ground corriander. We don’t et too much bread so we didn’t have pita. (Especially since we indulged in spanakopita at the Sunday Market today.). We can’t wait to make this again and for guests. Yummers.
Hi there this can be somewhat of off topic but I was wanting to know if blogs use WYSIWYG editors or in the event you must manually code with HTML. I?
WordPress allows you to do it either way.
this recipe looks delicous. And that fresh pita bread…yum! Hope your new year is off to a great start!
I just cooked and posted a eggplant recipe (Ottolenghi) that I enjoyed so much I just had to go on the hunt for more eggplant recipes. I just love the sound of your dish – I must try it soon! Thank you for sharing!
Wonderful Mediterranean flavors!
This dish is so beautiful. Anything made in a Dutch oven is simply bound to me a success. And the photography is quite on point. Good job! And happy 2013 🙂
That looks sooooo good! I love both the eggplant and the lamb. And congrats on going MANUAL!!