Yield: 4 servings
3 medium eggplants, about 3 pounds total
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1½ pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 medium yellow onion, finely diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon salt
3 medium tomatoes, diced, or 1 (28-ounce) can good-quality tomatoes, diced
2 teaspoons fresh oregano leaves, chopped, or ½ teaspoon dried
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon
¼ cup all-purpose flour
1 cup milk
3½ ounces freshly grated Turkish kasseri cheese or provolone
½ cup lat-leaf parsley, chopped, for garnish
1 lemon, cut into 4 wedges, for serving
Cooked bulgur, for serving
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Pierce the eggplants a few times with a knife and put on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast until dark and completely soft, about 1 hour, flipping halfway through. Let rest until cool enough to handle.
3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add the lamb, onion, garlic and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is softened and the meat is browned on all sides, about 10 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano and cinnamon. Cover and simmer until the sauce is silky an the meat is tender, about 50 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (The meat can be cooked 1 day ahead, and the flavor will improve. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Reheat before proceeding).
4. Scoop the eggplant flesh into a blender or food processor, discarding the skin. Process until finely puréed.
5. In a large skillet, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring with a spatula, until foamy. Add the puréed eggplant, then stir the milk in slowly. Cook until thickened, a few more minutes. Remove from heat and fold in the kasseri or provolone. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (You can prepare the eggplant sauce up to 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate, and reheat before serving).
6. Scoop the sauce onto plates, top with meat and sprinkle with parsley. Serve immediately, with lemon wedges to squeeze and bulgur on the side.
Per serving: 582 calories; 30g fat; 10g saturated fat; 129mg cholesterol; 46g protein; 37g carbohydrate; 16g sugar; 14g fiber; 938mg sodium; 285mg calcium
Recipe from “Tasting Paris: 100 Recipes to Eat Like a Local,” by Clotilde Dusoulier