Serious Eats: Recipes

Baked Eggplant with Lamb and Walnut Sauce

[Photograph: Max Falkowitz]

A Turkish-inspired dish with a ragu as complex as bolognese that can be made in a fraction of the time. The principal spice blend in the sauce is called janissary spice, the product of Turkish spice blender in Istanbul, but it's easy to replicate at home. Seek out maraş chiles, which are intensely sweet, not that hot, and carry the rich flavors of sun-warmed tomatoes with hints of red bell pepper for the blend. You can find them at Cambridge's Formaggio Kitchen and Oakland's Market Hall foods (both sell online as well). Easier-to-find aleppo makes a good, if not more tart and spicy substitute.

You've probably seen the "long hot" chiles called for in the recipe—that's their most common supermarket name. They look like this and are more pungent than spicy.

If you don't like the texture of baked eggplant, try blending your eggplant halves into a proto-babaganoush, or serve this sauce over rice pilaf with a sharp salad on the side.

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