The combination of eggplant and lamb meat is one of my favorites. In the recipe here, the patties are fried at the last minute and the dish is assembled just before serving. However, all the components for the dish can be prepared in advance, so the process is not as daunting as it may seem at first glace. Once you have the sauce, the fried eggplants and the patties mixture ready, finishing the dish and assembling is quick and easy.
The dish is ideal for serving as a part of a buffet dinner, as an appetizer, or as a main course. Whichever way you’ll choose to serve it, I’m sure you’ll enjoy this tasty combination of flavors.
* Salting the eggplants overnight is important, as it helps the eggplant to hardly absorb oil while frying. For best results, don’t skip this step.
* To ensure quality and best flavor, I recommend chopping or grinding the meat at home.
* Beef can be used instead of the lamb.
* For a vegetarian option, use herbed goat cheese instead of the meat.
Prep time for the eggplants: 10 minutes + overnight
Frying time for the eggplants: 15 minutes
Prep time for the sauce: 10 minutes
Roasting time for the sauce: 20 minutes
Prep time for the patties: 15 minutes
Frying time for the patties: 15 minutes
Assembling time: 10 minutes
For the eggplants:
1-2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise to medium thickens
1 Tbs salt
Oil for shallow frying
For the sauce:
About 20 mini peppers (I used yellow, but any would do), cleaned
About 30 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbs olive oil
For the patties:
1 cup packed parsley
4 scallions, roughly chopped
14 oz (400 grams) lamb shoulder meat, cut into medium cubes
1 tsp salt
½ tsp four peppers mix
Oil for shallow frying
1. The eggplants: Sprinkle salt over the eggplant slices on both sides. Place in a colander, as shown in the photo, and let sweat and drain overnight. The next day, pat dry with paper towels and fry in hot oil until golden-brown on both sides. Place on paper towels, to adsorb extra oil. Keep at room temperature until using, or, in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to 3 days.
2. The sauce: Preheat the oven to 425F (220C). Line a baking sheet pan with baking paper. Arrange the peppers and cherry tomatoes on, in one layer, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle 1 Tbs olive oil all over and roast for about 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes and peppers are nicely roasted. Let cool a bit and place in a food processor bowl, fitted with the metal blade. Add the remaining 1 Tbs of olive oil and process coarsely. Taste and adjust seasonings if needed. The sauce can be kept, in an airtight container in the fridge, for up to a week.
3. The patties: Coarsely chop the parsley and scallions in a food processor bowl, fitted with the metal blade. Add the cubed meat and process again, to coarsely chop the meat. Add the salt and pepper and mix. Create 10 medium size oval patties from the mixture. Fry in hot oil until the patties are golden-brown on all sides. Place on paper towels, to absorb extra fat. Keep warm until using.
4. Assembling: place 10 fried eggplant slices on a work surface. Spread 1 Tbs sauce over each slice, and add the patties. Roll together and place on a serving plate. Add some more sauce on top, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.