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Turkish-Style Stuffed Eggplant with Walnut Sauce


Vegan Planet, Robin Robertson, sent in by Mary H.

A Thanksgiving main dish: "The flavors are imaginative and rich!" --Mary H.


2 medium eggplants, halved lengthwise
44 ml3 T. olive oil
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 ml1/2 tsp. turmeric
240 ml1 c. ground walnuts
240 ml1 c. vegetable stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
30 ml2 T. tomato paste
59 ml1/4 c. firmly packed brown sugar or natural sweetener
59 ml1/4 c. fresh or bottled pomegranate juice
30 ml2 T. fresh lemon juice
1 small green bell pepper, seeded and chopped
240 ml1 c. cooked basmati rice
30 ml2 T. minced fresh mint leaves
30 ml2 T. minced fresh parsley leaves


Preheat oven to 400 F. Place the eggplant halves cut side down on a lightly oiled baking sheet and bake until partially softened, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.

When cool enough to handle, scoop out the inside of the eggplant, leaving 1/4-inch-thick shells intact. Coarsely chop the eggplant flesh and set aside along with the shells.

Heat 1 T. of the olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add half of the onion, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the turmeric, 1/2 cup of the walnuts, the stock, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce begins to thicken, about 15 minutes.

In a small bowl, combine the tomato paste, brown sugar, pomegranate juice, and lemon juice and blend well. Add to the sauce, reduce the heat to low, and simmer while you prepare the rest of the dish.

Heat the remaining 2 T. olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the remaining onion and the bell pepper, cover, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped eggplant and salt and pepper to taste. Continue cooking to blend the flavors, about 5 minutes, then transfer the eggplant mixture to a large bowl and stir in the rice, remaining 1/2 cup walnuts, the mint, and parsley. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Divide the stuffing among the eggplant shells and arrange them in a lightly oiled baking dish. Bake until the shells are tender and the filling is hot, 15 to 20 minutes. Serve topped with the walnut sauce.

Major Ingredients: 


I made it without the sugar and it was fine that way, very tasty. I think sugar would have killed the tart flavors of lemon and pomegranate. Though I had no experience with pomegranates, I figured it would be easy to juice one, but it really isn't! We found directions on the web and got it done but it was time-consuming and messy. The taste of the fresh juice was exquisite, but next time I'll pay the money and get it in a bottle.