I try to eat vegetables everyday, whether it's cooked, juiced or raw and I do a pretty good job at it. However, I always need to keep a list of the vegetables I haven't been eating for a while and when there is a vegetable I haven't ate for a long time, that's what is usually on the menu for the night. I love eggplants a lot, but I realized I haven't cooked them for a long time. Lately, I've been very lazy and have been cooking meals that are easy to prep, which is why I haven't cooked with eggplants for a while. In Turkey, vegetables are usually bought from the street bazaar and every neighborhood has a day when it is set up. Our neighborhoods bazaar is on Monday and luckily it's very close, and everything is fresh. I went yesterday and like always, I bought a lot of vegetables, including fresh eggplants, which is what is cooking in my kitchen today. The great thing about this recipe is that it is Gluten-Free and with just very slight modifications it becomes perfect for those who follow a Paleo diet.

(Serves 2-4)

  • 2 eggplants or 6 to 8 baby eggplants (depending on how small they are)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1/2 onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, finely sliced
  • 1 Tbs. unsalted butter (use ghee or coconut oil for Paleo)
  • 2 large tomatoes, peeled (blanch in boiling water to make this easier), seeded and chopped
  • 1 Tbs.  tomato paste or tomato puree
  • 1 Tbs.  red pepper paste (optional) 
  • 9 oz. (250 g) ground beef/lamb (I prefer beef)
  • 1 tsp. mild chili flakes
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Kosher Salt to taste
  • 3 Tbs. roughly chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh dill (optional)
  • 1/4 cup (2 fl. oz./50 ml) stock or water
  • Splash of vegetable oil (olive oil or coconut oil for Paleo)
  • 1 small, long green pepper, seeded and sliced diagonally, or 1/2 green bell pepper, seeded and finely sliced
  • Serve cold or hot
  • Serve with a mixture of yogurt and chopped mint spooned on top.
  • Serve over rice or pasta.

Cut the eggplants in half lengthways, keeping the skin on. Run a knife down the middle of the flesh from end to end, but don’t cut all the way through to the skin (this helps the eggplant halves open out as they cook). Salt them lightly and drain in a colander for 15 minutes. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

In a large fry pan, sauté the onion and garlic gently in the butter for about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and pepper paste and cook gently for 5 minutes.

Push the tomatoes to the side of the pan and brown the beef with the mild chili flakes and cumin for about 5 minutes (use a separate pan if yours isn’t big enough for this—if you overcrowd the pan, the lamb will stew rather than brown).

Mix the contents of the pan together and season with pepper, but wait until everything has cooked through to taste and add salt, as some brands of tomato and pepper paste can be salty already. Add the parsley, dill and stock or water and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C).

In a separate fry pan over high heat, brown the eggplants on all sides in the vegetable oil. Do this in batches if necessary and be careful as they may spit. The eggplant halves will begin to open up.

Once lightly browned, lay the eggplant halves, cut side up, in a buttered casserole. Top each half with filling—a spoonful or two if they are baby eggplants, more if they are larger. Pull the eggplants apart gently and push the stuffing down to help it sink into the flesh. Toss the green pepper slices in a little oil and place one on the top of each eggplant half.

Transfer to the oven and cook until the eggplants are soft and collapsing and the topping is lightly browned, 20 to 30 minutes. If you’re using baby eggplants, check them after 15 minutes, as they may cook much faster. Serve over rice or pasta. Serve cold or hot, but definitely with a mixture of yogurt and chopped mint spooned on top.


  1. These look so delicious. I love eggplants but I rarely cook them as I just don't really know what to make with them, but this sounds like a recipe I need to try out x

    Beauty with charm

  2. Looks delicious, I'd use Soya with it as we're veggie!

  3. Holy smokes this looks and sounds delicious! You know I saw eggplant in the grocer last week and didnt know what to do besides my fave eggplant and soba noodles. Definitely going to go back and give this a try!

  4. This sounds amazing!! I am allergic to wheat so anything gluten free peaks my interest. I will have to try this!

    La Joie de Vivre by Alecia Mariana
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