Thursday, October 8, 2009
Vegetarian Lebanese-Style Stuffed Eggplant
3 Tablespoons pine nuts
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 Cups chicken stock
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes in juice
1/2 Cup firm tofu crumbled (or ground lamb or beef chuck)
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice (or allspice)
1/2 of a lemon
3 Tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
Hollow out each eggplant using a melon-ball cutter or by digging in with a sharp ended potato peeler. Leave about 1/3 inch eggplant flesh along interior walls. Rinse rice in a sieve under cold water until water runs clear. Drain well.
Heat oil in a 12-inch or larger heavy skillet over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Fry pine nuts, stirring frequently, until golden brown, about 3 minutes, then transfer with a slotted spoon to a bowl. Saute onion and garlic, stirring occasionally, until golden brown, 6-8 minutes. Transfer 1/2 cup onion mixture to bowl with pine nuts. Add stock, tomatoes, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper to skillet and simmer, uncovered, while stuffing eggplant.
Add rice, tofu, pumpkin pie spice, a pinch of salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper to bowl with onion mixture and mix well with your hands.
Stuff eggplant with tofu 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, until rice is cooked through, 50 minutes-1 hour (cut one in half to test).
If sauce is watery, transfer eggplant to a plate and boil sauce, stirring occasionally, until thickened slightly, 3 to 5 minutes, then adjust seasoning if necessary. Return stuffed eggplant to sauce. Squeeze lemon over dish and sprinkle with parsley before serving.