In my last post I shared my recipe for Roasted red peppers with mushrooms, spinach and feta a delicious vegetarian dish of stuffed peppers. Today I am posting another, as filled vegetables make tasty and nutritious meals and this time it is stuffed aubergine with lamb and haloumi. It has been influenced by the popular Greek dish moussaka and is just as tasty but quicker to prepare.
The aubergines are scooped out to form a shell. The flesh of the aubergine is not wasted but chopped and combined with a simple minced meat stuffing which is flavoured with mint and some cubes of haloumi cheese. This in then piled back into the aubergine shells before roasting. I’ve already mentioned before that I am a bit of a fan of the aubergine – though apparently it is the number one most disliked vegetable by children. This rather surprised me, why would they not like aubergine, what’s not to like?
While the recipe is reminiscent of moussaka and has similar ingredients and flavours, (you can find my recipe for easy moussaka here), I find this dish is even quicker and easier to prepare. A simple salad is all that you need to complete the dish or for a more substantial meal serve with rice or new potatoes.
Step by step stuffed aubergine with lamb and haloumi
- 2 aubergines
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 1 small onion chopped
- 1 clove garlic chopped
- 500 g mince lamb
- 75 ml stock or water
- 50 g sun-dried tomatoes chopped
- 2 –4 tbsp chopped fresh mint
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 125 g haloumi cheese
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- Preheat the oven to 190℃/170℃ fan/gas mark 5. Cut the aubergine in half and scoop out the flesh. Place the aubergine shells in a baking sheet and roughly chop the aubergine flesh.
- Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the onion until softened. Add the garlic and fry for 1 minutes, then add the meat and cook until browned, breaking up with the side of a spoon as it cooks.
- Add the chopped aubergine flesh and stock or water. Cook for about 5 minutes stirring frequently until the aubergine is softened.
- Add the chopped tomatoes and mint. Season well. Remove from the heat and stir in the haloumi.
- Pile into the hollowed out aubergine shells and sprinkle with pine nuts.
- Bake for 30–40 minutes or until the aubergine is tender. Cover loosely with a sheet of foil if the meat begins to brown too much.
- Serve with a salad.
Hints, tips and variations
- To scoop out the aubergine, cut in half lengthways. Use a small sharp knife to score a ½-1cm boarder around the edge. Next score deep a criss cross pattern in the centre taking care not to cut through the skin of the aubergine. Then use a dessert spoon to scoop out the flesh.
- Keeping with the moussaka theme I used mince lamb but you could use mince beef or pork instead.
- I used chopped mint as it goes well with lamb but you could use other herbs such as rosemary, thyme, oregano etc. Or why not vary the herb to suit the meat. I would use mint or rosemary with the lamb, thyme or oregano with with beef and sage with pork. If you like your food spicy you could try adding some chopped chilli too.
- Haloumi cheese works very well with this dish as it keeps it shape when cooked, but you could use mozzarella, feta or cheddar instead.