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Recipe Review | Plated Roasted Eggplant with Moroccan Lamb and Feta

Monday, September 18, 2017

This week we tried a new recipe from Plated. They describe it perfectly on the recipe card, "In tonight's Moroccan-inspired feast, cinnamon-spiced beef and lamb are folded into a simple tomato sauce with pine nuts, then spooned over silky roasted eggplant with a a balancing garnish of salty feta."
The cinnamon was unexpected and delicious. Plated's description of the eggplant as "silky" is spot-on. If you're not a fan of lamb, an easy substitution would be more beef. We also found the accompanying greens with sumac vinaigrette to be the perfect side because the tangy zip of the dressing balanced so well with the warm creaminess of the main dish. The recipe below incorporates the ingredients and instructions for the side salad. 

We all loved this one!

Roasted Eggplant with Moroccan Lamb and Feta
Recipe is for 2 dinner entrées or 4 lunch servings 
(We double it for a dinner serving for our family of four --which leaves a lunch serving left-over.)
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What you need:
2 small/medium eggplants, halved through the stems
6 ounces plum tomatoes, cut into a 1/2-inch dice
1/2 lemon
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 yellow onion, diced
5 ounces ground beef
5 ounces ground lamb
2 tablespoons pine nuts
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup tomato purée
1 teaspoon sumac
3 ounces spring mix lettuce
2 ounces crumbled feta cheese
olive oil
salt and pepper
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What to do:
  1. Roast Eggplant: Preheat oven to 450ºF. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and rub with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season cut sides of eggplant halves with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place them cut-side down, and roast until skin is charred and flesh is very tender, 18-20 minutes. (Your eggplant is finished roasting when it easily lifts off the foiled baking sheet. If it's sticking, continue roasting another 3-5 minutes.) Gently lift the foil and loosen the eggplant, keeping it intact. Transfer to serving plates, cut-side up.
  2. Sauté Aromatics: While eggplant roasts, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium pan over medium-high heat. When oil is shimmering, add onion and cook, stirring, until softened and translucent, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute more.
  3. Brown Beef and Lamb: Add beef and lamb to pan with aromatics, still over medium-high heat. Cook, breaking up meat until browned, 4-5 minutes. Then, stir in pine nuts, cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired to combine.
  4. Simmer Sauce: Add tomato purée and plum tomatoes to pan with beef and lamb. Increase heat to high and bring sauce to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and simmer until tomatoes are very soft and sauce has thickened, 4-5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together sumac, juice of your halved lemon, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/8 teaspoon salt, and pepper as desired to make dressing. Set aside. 
  5. Plate: Pat lettuce dry with paper towel, add to bowl with dressing, and toss to coat. Divide salad between serving plates with eggplant. Spoon Moroccan lamb over eggplant, garnish with feta, and dig in!

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