Fattet Magdoos (Middle Eastern Eggplant Casserole)
While not famous elsewhere, this dish is a Middle Eastern favorite. Fattet magdoos is a mix of crunchy, warm, and cold layers with lots of flavors that complement each other perfectly.
This dish is best fresh. Since this recipe yields 4-6 entrée servings, it’s great for a family dinner or potluck parties. The trick is to assemble it just before it’s time to eat to maintain the crunchiness of the bread.
The original cooking method for this dish is to fry the eggplants and the bread. In my recipe, I broil the eggplants and use baked pita chips instead. The yield is a delicious fusion of low-fat and a taste of the Middle East.
· 2 tbsp olive oil
· 2 large eggplants
· 1 onion, chopped
· 1 lb lean ground meat
· 1 tsp salt
· ¼ tsp pepper
· 1 tsp all spice
· 1 ½ c chicken stock
· 3 tbsp tomato paste
· 2 c low-fat plain yogurt
· 2 tbsp tahini sauce
· 1 garlic clove, minced
· ¼ tsp salt
4 c pita chips (pieces must be less than 1-inch wide)
¼ c pine nuts
1 c parsley leaves, chopped
1. 1. Peel the eggplants and slice lengthwise about ½ inch thick. Place in a baking sheet and brush with half the amount of olive oil. Broil on low for 20 minutes, or until golden. Then turn, brush the other side with the rest of the oil and broil for another 20 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the yogurt mix by stirring all the ingredients together. Toast the pine nuts by placing them on a baking sheet in a toaster oven (or in the oven with the eggplants)
3. Saute the onion with some olive oil in a medium size pan. When soft and clear, add the ground meat and cook until juices run clear. Season with salt, pepper, and all spice. Stir in the chicken stock and tomato paste.
4. When the eggplants are done, cut into 1-inch strips and add in to the meat mix. Cook for another 10 minutes.
5. To assemble, place the pita chips on the bottom of a deep glass or stone bake ware (pyrex). Layer the meat mix and then the yogurt. Sprinkle with the pine nuts and parsley.
6. Serve immediately.
Nour El-Zibdeh, RD
Nour El-Zibdeh, RD, is a registered dietitian based in Northern Virginia. She is a nutrition consultant, freelance writer, and blogger. In her blog, Practical Nutrition By Dietitian, she continues to inspire people to take practical steps for better nutrition and health. In her consulting practice, Nour offers nutrition and wellness speaking and writing services.
Practical Nutrition: http://www.PracticalNutritionByDietitian.com/
Consulting Practice: http://www.NourRD.com