Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Kofta Saniya (Middle Eastern Meatball and Vegetable Casserole)

I had a couple of eggplants and different peppers leftover in the fridge that needed using up... here's a great recipe for that sort of thing!

This is a delicious Middle Eastern casserole with spiced meatballs, a variety of roasted peppers and eggplant in olive oil, all baked in a zesty tomato sauce. 

For the meatballs:

- 1 lb medium ground beef

- 1 large bunch parsley, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced/grated
- 1/4 red onion, minced or grated
- Salt and black pepper

Mix all of the above together and make gold ball sized meatballs .. now taper each side slightly by flattening it in your hand.  Set aside to marinade until the meat is room temp. 

For the vegetables:

- 1-2 eggplants 

- A variety of peppers - I used the long red and green ones like you see here 

- 1/4 cup olive oil (Goog EVOO from Olive That!) 

- 1 red onion, sliced in rings (set aside for later) 

Slice the eggplant lengthwise or into rounds, salt them lightly and set them flat on a plate for them to release some of their water. 

Clean the peppers out and cut them in thick ring sizes. 

Heat the olive oil in a pan and add the peppers, cook on medium high until they're slightly blistered and wilted/caramelized. 

Add them to a casserole dish. 

Now add the eggplant and sautee on both sides until nice and golden. Set aside. 

(I do this part outdoors!) 

Fire up the grill!! 

Add the koftas to the grill and allow them to get nice and grilled (marks and all) They should be still raw inside, so I use a high temperature and simply brown the outsides. 

Leftover ingredients 

- 1/2 jar pessata (strained tomato) 

 -1 tbsp turkish aleppo red pepper flakes

-3 slices of lemon (washed rind) 

Add the onion rings over the peppers in the casserole dish, and nestle the meatballs (koftas) from the grill nicely over the vegetables. Sprinkle the turkish aleppo red pepper flakes over.  Top with pieces of eggplant. Finish with the strained tomato sauce, pouring it over top, shake the casserole so some of the sauce goes to the bottom and coats everything.  Add slices of lemon to the top (optional!)

Bake at 375 for about 30-40 minutes or until the meatballs are cooked through and all it smells delicious! 

Enjoy with bread or white rice! 

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