Karniyarik (Baked Eggplants with Meat Filling)

Category: 
Main Courses

Courtesy of Elif Selvili
Photography ©iStockphoto.com/ ozgurdonmaz

The name of this tasty dish translates to "Split Tummy." If you prefer a vegetarian version, omit the meat and add more onions and garlic.

Easy

Karniyarik (Baked Eggplants with Meat Filling)

Ingredients

For 6 Person(s)

Cream

  • 6 Japanese eggplants (long variety)
  • 1/2 cups olive oil
  • 6 mild green peppers
  • 1 Salt and pepper, to taste (plus additional salt to purge eggplant)
  • For the filling:
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, quartered and sliced
  • 1 pounds ground turkey (traditionally beef or lamb)
  • 6 garlic cloves, quartered
  • 1 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 large cans whole peeled tomatoes, drained and juice reserved
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 cups chopped flat-leaf parsley

Karniyarik (Baked Eggplants with Meat Filling) Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400°.
  2. Peel ½-inch strips of the eggplants lengthwise, giving it a striped look, then cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Place the halves in a colander, sprinkle with salt to remove any bitterness and allow to purge for 15 to 20 minutes.
  3. Rinse the halves well and pat dry with a kitchen towel. Brush both sides of the eggplant slices with the olive oil and place in a shallow baking dish.
  4. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper and bake for about 15 to 20 minutes. Turn the slices over and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, or until slightly browned and soft.
  5. While the eggplants are baking, prepare the filling. Melt the butter in a heavy skillet and sauté the onion until slightly softened. Add the meat and stir, breaking up the larger pieces with a wooden spoon. Add the garlic, tomato paste and reserved tomato juice and salt and pepper. Cover the skillet with a lid and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. Add the parsley and turn off the heat.
  6. Remove the eggplants from the oven and place in an ovenproof dish. Slice the tomatoes and reserve any juice this produces.
  7. Mound the filling onto the eggplant halves with a slotted spoon and top with the sliced tomatoes. Cut the peppers lengthwise into quarters and remove all seeds and membranes. Place one pepper slice over each eggplant half, top with any remaining tomato juice and bake for about 45 minutes. Serve warm.

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