Twice Baked Eggplant with Feta, Toasted Almonds & Mint
Eggplant is baked twice. Firstly, low and slow, stuffed with a saucy spiced beef mince and crumbly feta, then finished in the oven and served with a scattering of toasted almonds and fresh mint. Just perfect with a simple side salad.
Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Gently prick the surface of each eggplant with a fork and place onto a roasting tray with the water. Cover with foil, then place into the oven for 45 minutes, or until the eggplants are soft and begin to collapse. Remove from the oven and drain out excess water.
Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large non stick pan over a high heat. Add the mince along with the paprika, cumin, turmeric, cinnamon, chilli flakes, salt and pepper. Cook until it begins to turn a deep golden brown (approximately 4 minutes). Remove the mince and clean out the pan.
Heat the remaining olive oil over a medium heat. Add the onions and cook until they begin to soften. Next, add the garlic, cooking for a further minute. Add the mince and tomato paste, cooking for about 1 minute. Once it begins to caramelise and stick to the bottom of the pan, add the sherry vinegar to deglaze. Finally, stir in the tomatoes, soy sauce and parsley. Cover with a lid, then turn down the heat to a low simmer for 30 minutes or until the sauce has thickened.
Gently scoop out some of the seedy flesh from each eggplant. Using a spoon, divide and fill each eggplant with a generous portion of mince, followed by some crumbled feta. Place the eggplant back into the oven for 10 minutes or until the tops turn golden brown.
Serve - top with an extra drizzle of olive oil and a scattering of almonds and fresh mint.