Has anybody ever had undercooked eggplant? As far as I know, it’s the only vegetable that is absolutely disgusting if it’s not cooked to death. Slight crunchy carrots? Delicious. Asparagus that retains its crispness? Awesome. Chewy eggplant? Nasty.
When I saw this recipe in Food and Wine for Stuffed Eggplant with Lamb and Pine Nuts, I was excited but wary.
I loved the idea of using cinnamon, lemon, tamarind and sugar to create a salty sweet balance. However, the idea of piling the lamb on top of the eggplant without hollowing it out terrified me. Undercooked eggplant alert! Therefore I carved out the eggplant and roasted the shell and the chopped up insides separately for 40 minutes ahead of time. I then mixed the chopped eggplant with the lamb and loaded the ‘eggplant boats’ up and roasted for another 20 minutes until I was absolutely certain it was cooked.
This makes for a hearty dish so I served with an arugula, pomegranate and pecan salad for some color as well as a bit of hummus.