Although I'm not a huge eggplant fan, one of my favorite dishes features eggplant. I never ate eggplant when I was a kid. It was never offered to me and I probably wouldn't have even tried it if it had been. The first time Adnan (who is a wonderful cook) made eggplant for me, I was skeptical. But from that first bite, I was in love with this dish. The flavors all work so well together and it's unbelievably delicious. Try it for yourself!
EGGPLANT WITH GROUND BEEF AND YOGURT SAUCE
1 Large Eggplant, cut into 3/4-inch round slices
1-2 pounds Lean Ground Beef
Onion, Garlic, Parsley, Salt, Pepper, and other spices and herbs to your liking
1 Cup Plain Yogurt
Mint, Dill, Italian Seasoning, Cilantro, or other spices and herbs to your liking
GROUND BEEF MIXTURE: We like to keep an already-made amount of this versatile mixture available. That's why you can use a larger amount of ground beef if you want, so you can save some to use in other recipes later. It freezes well and is quick to thaw. It's great to use in many Middle Eastern or Italian dishes, and when there's just a little bit left, we just throw it into scrambled eggs in the morning and it's delicious.
Start with a little olive oil warmed in a frying pan.
SAUTE in some chopped onion and some fresh garlic over medium heat.
ADD in your ground beef and cook thoroughly.
You can also ADD in your favorite spices and herbs, like Italian Seasoning, Fresh Cilantro, Parsley, a little Salt and Pepper, etc.
Set this mixture aside.
In a small bowl, MIX the Yogurt with your favorite Herb and Spices, like Mint, Dill, or Cilantro.
ADD a little Italian Seasoning if you like.
My personal favorites with this dish are Mint and Dill.
Set this mixture aside too.
EGGPLANT: My hubby used to fry the eggplant slices in a little Olive oil on top of the stove, but they tend to absorb a lot of grease that way. The method he has been using lately is to bake them in a 400 degree oven for about 10-15 minutes on each side.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
First, lightly DIP the eggplant slices in olive oil.
Place them in a baking pan.
BAKE for about 10-15 minutes, until they appear a nice golden brown color.
TURN the slices over and return to the oven for another 10-15 minutes.
REMOVE when they are tender and a nice golden brown color.
Some people don't like the texture of the eggplant skin when it's fried or baked this way, so they peel the skin off first. The skin becomes a little tough and chewy, but I personally really like it when it's that texture.
SERVE 2-3 slices of eggplant per person.
TOP with the Ground Beef mixture, and then the Yogurt Sauce.
SERVES 3-4 People.