Eggplant Boats

Adapted from Perihan Teague's recipe in Food of Türkiye: Anatolian Feast.

2 eggplants, halved lengthwise
3/4 pound ground beef
1 onion, chopped
2 tomatoes, 1 diced and 1 sliced, divided
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
4 long, mild peppers, thickly sliced, such as Italian frying peppers, or 1
sliced bell pepper
Cooked rice, to serve
Tomato sauce, to serve

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the eggplant halves cut side down
on an oiled, rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 30 minutes until soft.
Meanwhile, brown the ground beef in its own fat in a large, heavy skillet.
Add the onions, and saute for a few minutes, until soft. Add the diced
tomatoes and parsley. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Stir and set
aside.

Using a wide spatula so the eggplant doesn't break, turn them over. Scoop
out the centers with a spoon to form a boat, being careful not to scoop
too deep and tear the shell. Roughly chop the eggplant you have removed,
and add it to the meat mixture. Fill the eggplant boats with the beef
mixture, then top with pepper and tomato slices. Sprinkle lightly with
salt and pepper. Pour 1 cup water around the eggplants, and bake for about
20 minutes, until warm. Serve with rice and tomato sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

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