Eggplant and ground lamb

From Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem

Well, except for Ottolenghi’s version (which I’m sure is delicious) requires three hours of slow cooking, and needs paprika and tamarind sauce. Whereas this version requires about half an hour of cooking, and more ordinary ingredients. Everyone loved it though.

How to make eggplant and ground lamb:

In a large frying pan, pour a liberal amount of olive oil, and while it’s heating cut a medium eggplant into little cubes and then add that. Stir frequently while you chop an onion and add that. Add more olive oil if needed. Peel and cut up a potato into small cubes and add that too. Keep stirring. Add about 1/3 pound of ground lamb, and reduce the heat to low – keep stirring pretty frequently.

Now add the spices: about a tablespoon of cinnamon, a tablespoon of cumin, a teaspoon of brown sugar, a large pinch of salt, a pinch of black pepper. Keep stirring. Add a tablespoon of tomato paste, the juice of half a lemon and its zest, half a clementine orange cut into small pieces, and half of the peel, also cut into small pieces. Add a handful of chopped parsley or kale. Keep stirring until the potatoes are soft, and serve hot with yogurt and a green salad. If you want to dress it up for company, serve with small squares of broiled polenta.

Vegetarian or vegan

Nope; this has lamb in it. It’s gluten free and lactose-free though.

Can I keep eggplant and ground lamb for later?

Yes, it will taste even better the next day, but we didn’t have any left when four people ate it. Double this recipe if you want leftovers. Would not freeze well.

Published by Karen Carr

Dr. Karen Carr is Associate Professor Emerita, Department of History, Portland State University. She holds a doctorate in Classical Art and Archaeology from the University of Michigan. Follow her on Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook, or buy her book, Vandals to Visigoths.

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