Baby Aubergines or eggplants are just everywhere at the moment! They tumble out of garden beds, lay lavishly around local markets and just look so darn appealing with their purple glossy skins that This Little Pig can barely resist hugging them close and singing “you are soooo beautifulllll to meeeeee.” Luckily for the general public and This Little Pig’s shopping companion, this fine swine bought a giant bag and sang the song at home instead.
On a slightly stormy day in Perth, this piglet decided that the aubergines had sat temptingly in the fridge long enough and firmly stated, “today is the day we’re going to stuff you baby aubergines.” The aubergines said nothing in reply, so This Little Pig rolled up its trottered sleeves and starting preparing a cross cultured dish of a Greek meal that would be perfect for Spanish style tapas.
This Little Pig has also discussed this dish at length with its good friend Fay and has decided that it could be delicious with other such tapas plates as chorizo seared in lemon and garlic and perhaps tomato bruschetta’s (see last weeks blog). So invite your friends over perfect piglet and start stuffing those eggplants. Oink!
Baby Eggplants Stuffed with Herbed Lamb Mince, Pinenuts and Hard Greek Fetta.
Prep Time: 15 Mins. Cooking Time: 45 Mins.
Feeds: 4-6 Hungry Piglets for entrée or a tapas plate.
Ingredients of Delight:
24 x Baby Aubergines
400g x Lamb Mince
1 x Red Shallot
2 x Garlic Cloves
½ x Oregano Bunch
½ x Dill Bunch
1 x Parsley Bunch
30g x Pine Nuts
100g x Hard Fetta
1 x Cup Panko Bread Crumbs
½ x Cup Parmesan
¼ x Cup Rice
1 x Tbs Olive Oil (plus more to drizzle)
Lashings of salt and pepper
¼ x Cup Natural Yoghurt
1 x Tbs Lemon Juice
How to Stuff Those Babies:
- Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
- Pour your rice into a medium pot with 1 cup of water. Bring to the boil and then reduce to a simmer until all the water has been absorbed and the rice is cooked through. If the rice isn’t quite cooked add another quarter of a cup of water to help things along and sing “cook my beauty cook.” Both of these techniques together will help.
- Slice your aubergines in half longways – cut them along the crooked side so they lie flat once halved.
- Take a knife and run it along the inside, about half a centimeter in from the skin – this helps loosen the insides for scooping them out with a spoon.
- Scoop the insides out with a spoon and finely dice the insides.
- Finely dice your garlic and shallot.
- Pull the leaves off the stalks of your parsley, dill and oregano and then finely dice the leaves.
- Heat up a medium fry pan with your olive oil (1 Tbs) and then pour in your diced up garlic and shallot. Stir until garlic and shallot start to turn translucent.
- Add in your lamb mince and cook until starting to brown, then add in your diced aubergine insides – continue to cook until the aubergine is soft and cooked through.
- Add in your rice, pine nuts and fresh herbs and mix well.
- Take off the heat and crumble over your feta and gently mix through.
- Stuff your delightful aromatic mince and rice filling into your aubergines.
- Lay your stuffed beauties onto a breadboard and generously scatter over your panko crumbs and then top carefully with your grated parmesan cheese.
- Gently lay into a large tray and give them a good drizzle of olive oil.
- Pop into the oven for 20-30 mins or until crispy, golden and the outsides soft.
- Mix together your natural yoghurt (¼ x Cup) and lemon juice (1 Tbs).
- Lay your aubergines out onto a lovely serving platter and drizzle over the natural yoghurt dressing.
- A good scrunch of pepper and they are ready to be served – you can wear a flamenco skirt to give a more ‘tapas vibe’ and mutter the words ‘ola’ or something greek perhaps.. as you place it on the table... Oink.