Turkish Stuffed Eggplant (Karniyarik) with Yogurt Sauce
I can't take credit for this recipe; it came from my friends, Mary and Ahmet. Ahmet is from Ankara, and this is one of the many Turkish dishes he likes to prepare. It's quite easy and very delicious. I made this several times last summer when my garden was overflowing with eggplant. Once it's in the oven baking, you can attend to side dishes like a big Greek salad or a cucumber salad as an accompaniment.
3 to 6 eggplants, depending on size
1/2 pound ground beef, lamb or turkey
1 onion, chopped
1/2 green pepper, chopped
16 oz. tomatoes, chopped, juice reserved
salt and pepper to taste
1 TBSP paprika
1/4 C. basmati rice
Oven 400 degrees.
In a large skillet, heat the olive oil; add the onion and green pepper and saute until softened. Add the ground meat and brown., stirring to break it up. Add the chopped tomatoes and rice along with the spices and simmer 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, use a vegetable peeler to peel strips off the eggplants. Slice in half lengthwise and scoop out the flesh, leaving shells. Fill with the meat and rice. Pour reserved tomato juice over and into the pan, adding a little water if necessary to keep it from drying out. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, until eggplants are tender when poked with a fork.
Serve with yogurt sauce.
1 cup fresh plain yogurt
about 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 clove garlic, minced
Combine all. Refrigerate.