Recipe by Mindy Fox
Start to Finish: 45 minutes
- 2 medium eggplants, halved lengthwise
- 4 tbsp. olive oil
- 1/2 cup well-stirred tahini
- 1 tsp. lemon zest, plus 2 tbsp. juice (from 1 lemon)
- 1/2 tsp. plus a large pinch of crushed red pepper
- 1/2 small clove garlic, grated
- 1 cup finely chopped onion
- 1 lb. ground beef (80% lean)
- Fresh mint leaves, za’atar, and pomegranate seeds, for garnish
1. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven; preheat to 450°. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.
2. Using a sharp small knife, score the cut sides of the eggplant halves in a crosshatch pattern. Arrange the eggplants, cut-side up, on the prepared baking sheet. Brush each half with 1 1/2 tsp. oil; season generously with salt. Roast until deep golden and tender, 25 to 30 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, in a bowl, whisk the tahini, lemon juice, 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper, the garlic, and 1/2 cup water until smooth.
4. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2 tbsp. oil over medium. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the beef; season with salt and a large pinch of crushed red pepper. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the beef is cooked through and browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest. Remove from heat.
5. Transfer the roasted eggplant to plates. Top with the beef. Drizzle with the tahini sauce. Garnish with the mint, za’atar, and pomegranate seeds.