Iraqi Lis-san el qua-thi (Eggplant wrapped meat)

This recipe comes from the website of the Babylonian Jewish Center, in Great Neck, New York. After writing my essay about zucchini and world peace, I thought it might also be possible to make this recipe using thin slices from a very large zucchini.

Makes about 20 pieces.

2 large eggplants
1/2 – 1 cup corn oil (if frying eggplant)

2 lbs. Lean ground meat
1 medium onion (1 C) finely minced
1 t salt
1/4 t black pepper

2 T corn oil
1 large onion diced
1 large tomato sliced (optional)
1 large tomato peeled and chopped
14 oz. tomato sauce
1 C beef or chicken stock
1/2 C lemon juice
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
1 t turmeric

Peel eggplant, trim off the top and bottom. Stand on cutting board and slice vertically, 1/8″ thin. Sprinkle generously with salt, place in a strainer for about 1 hour. Rinse off the salt and strain eggplant to dry.

Heat about 4 T oil in a frying pan and fry the eggplant slices in batches, turning once to brown both sides. Be careful not to burn. Add more oil as needed. Drain cooked eggplant slices on paper towels.

Low fat alternative: Place eggplant slices on baking sheets lined with foil and brushed with corn oil. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for approximately 20-30 minutes until brown, turning the eggplant halfway.

Mix together the ground meat, onion, salt and pepper. Divide the meat into sausage shaped portions 1″ thick and 2″ long. Place a portion of the meat stuffing at one end of an eggplant slice and begin wrapping the eggplant around it.

Place the rolls in a baking dish and layer the tomato slices on top (optional).

In a saucepan heat 2 T oil and saute the diced onions. When soft add the chopped tomatoes, salt, pepper and turmeric. Add tomato sauce, beef or chicken stock and lemon juice to taste. Cover and simmer 15 minutes.

Pour the sauce over the rolls in the baking dish, cover with aluminum paper and bake for 1 hour (or until done) at 450 degrees.