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Eggplants with Rice Stuffing

Ease of Preparation: Moderate

Preparation Time: 30 min
plus 30 min soaking

Cook Time: 1 hr

Servings: 10

Recipe By: Maria Khalife

From:  Mezze Modern
Used with permission of Interlink Publishing

Other Main Dishes
Other Vegetarian Main Dishes
Other Mediterranean
Other Grains

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Eggplants with Rice Stuffing

Ingredients
for the stuffing
4 1/2 ounces white rice
2 tablespoons currants
1/3 cup olive oil
1/3 cup sunflower oil
2 tablespoons pine nuts
6  medium onions, peeled and finely chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon allspice
1 teaspoon white pepper
1 teaspoon super fine sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup hot water
1/2 bunch fresh mint, chopped
1 bunch dill, chopped
for the eggplant
10  medium eggplants
 juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup olive oil
1  salt
1  sugar
1 1/4 cups hot water
Directions
Start by preparing the stuffing. Soak the rice in cold water for 30 minutes, then rinse thoroughly and drain. Soak the currants in a little warm water for about 15 minutes until they swell, then drain. In a frying pan, heat the olive and sunflower oils and fry the pine nuts and onions until lightly browned. Add the rice and cook for 10 minutes. Add the soaked currants, spices, sugar, salt, and hot water, and cook over low heat for 15 minutes until the water has evaporated. Stir in the mint and dill. Set aside to cool.

De-stalk and hollow out the eggplants. Keep the cores to one side and cut into 1/2 lengths. Place the cored eggplant in a large bowl of water with the lemon juice to prevent discoloration.

Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Fill the eggplants with the rice stuffing and plug with the cores fixed in place with toothpicks.

Prick the skin of the stuffed eggplants in several places and place in a deep baking tray. In a bowl, mix together the olive oil, salt, and sugar, and pour over eggplants. Pour over the hot water. Place a damp sheet of waxed paper over the eggplants with the ends tucked in. Bake for approximately 25 minutes, then set aside to cool.

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