I actually used Japanese eggplants for the recipe – they’re kinda pale purple and streaked with white. The flavors in this dish are delicious. I’m a real sucker for anything Middle-Eastern.
6 5-6″ long eggplants (about 6 ounces each)
1/2 cup long grain or jasmine rice
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons pine nuts
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
3/4 pound ground turkey
1 teaspoon allspice
3 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley
Hollow out each eggplant with a melon-ball cutter, working from bottom end and leaving about 1/3″ eggplant flesh along interior walls. Rinse rice in a sieve under cold water until water runs clear. Drain well.
Heat oil in a 12″ heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Fry pine nuts, stirring frequently, until golden, about 3 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Saute onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden, 6-8 minutes. Transfer 1/2 cup onion mixture to bowl with pine nuts. Add broth, tomatoes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to skillet and simmer, uncovered, while stuffing eggplant.
Add rice, meat, allspice, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to bowl with onion mixture and mix well with your hands.
Stuff eggplant with meat mixture, being careful not to pack tightly (rice will expand during cooking). Transfer stuffed eggplants to skillet with tomato sauce and simmer, covered, carefully turning once or twice, until rice is cooked through, 50-60 minutes.
If sauce is watery, transfer eggplant to a plate and boil sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 3-5 minutes. Return stuffed eggplant to sauce. Squeeze lemon over dish and sprinkle with parsley before serving. Makes 6 servings.