I invented this dish myself, so as far as I know it is not an authentic recipe unless I recreated it by accident. It’s definitely Mediterranean though. I love the combination of lamb, eggplant and rosemary and that’s why I created this dish. I’ve been making it for years and have made small improvements over time. It is not a lot of work but it does take a while to make, so when I want to eat this after work I will prepare the night before.
For 2 servings as a main course or 4 servings as a substantial appetizer
250 grams (1/2 pound) ground lamb
4 Tbsp chopped fresh rosemary (needles only)
1 large onion, preferably red, chopped
8 Tbsp freshly grated pecorino or other hard sheep’s cheese such as manchego
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 glass (100 ml) red wine (optional)
Preheat the oven to 175C/350F. Cut the ends off the eggplants and halve them lengthwise. Brush them with olive oil on all sides. Roast for 30 minutes, skin side down, at 175C/350F until golden. Let cool until you can handle them.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil in a frying pan. Add the onion and rosemary and sauté over medium heat until the onion is translucent.
Add the ground lamb and cook, using two wooden spoons or spatulas to break up the meat. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
When the pink color is gone, add a glass of red wine (optional) and cook, stirring, until most of the wine has evaporated.
Scoop the pulp out of the eggplants with a spoon.
Sprinkle the eggplant skins with salt and reserve them. Roughly chop the pulp.
Add the pulp including the eggplant juices to the meat and cook, stirring, until the liquid has evaporated. Let cool to lukewarm. Taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper. It should be slightly on the salty side at this point.
Put an egg in a bowl and beat lightly. Add the meat and 4 Tbsp freshly grated sheep’s cheese.
Stir to mix.
Stuff the eggplant skinds with the mixture, and sprinkle with more freshly grated sheep’s cheese.
Bake in the oven at 175C/350F until golden brown. Serve as is as a secondo after pasta or with roasted potatoes.
This is good with any pinot noir, including of course red Burgundy or red Sancerre.