David Scott AllenLambMain CourseProvencal RecipesTaste

Baked Eggplant and Lamb with Tomatoes and Pine Nuts a Perfect Casserole

In the past several months, The New York Times has posted quite a few eggplant recipes. Being an avid eggplant fan, I buy some every week from Larry’s Veggies at the farmers market, and have now made three of the Times’ recipes.

Each time, though, the eggplant quantities have been way off. By at least half. Do they not like eggplant? Are they just pretending because they know it’s the “hot” vegetable now?

…Continue reading here for the original post and photos of the step-by-step recipe. He did not run out of eggplant for this recipe it is an easy casserole of Baked Eggplant and Lamb with Tomatoes and Pine Nuts.

Baked Eggplant Lamb Tomatoes Casserole

Baked Eggplant and Lamb with Tomatoes and Pine Nuts a Perfect Casserole

This casserole is delicious comforting blend of ground lamb, rich eggplant and melted mozzarella.
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Course Main Dish
Cuisine French, Provencal
Servings 4 People


  • 2 pound Large Firm Eggplants about 1each, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch slices
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • kosher salt
  • 1 small Yellow Onion about 4 ounces, finely diced
  • 1 pound Ground Lamb
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Unsalted Butter
  • 1/4 cup Pine nuts
  • 2 cups strained or crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup Warm Chicken Stock
  • 6 ounces Fresh Mozzarella sliced
  • rice for serving


  • Heat broiler with the rack positioned 4-5 inches from the element, and line two baking sheets with foil or parchment.
  • Brush both sides of eggplant slices with olive oil and sprinkle liberally with salt.
  • Arrange slices on prepared baking sheets and broil - one sheet at a time - until eggplant slices are a deep mahogany brown, turning once halfway through, 5 to 7 minutes per side.
  • Adjust the oven to 375°F, and position rack in the center.
  • In a 10-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add onion and sauté until translucent, but not browned, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.
  • Add ground lamb, stirring frequently, breaking up meat into very small pieces with the side of a wooden spoon.
  • Season with salt, cinnamon, and pepper.
  • Sauté until meat is just cooked through, then taste for seasoning and adjust accordingly.
  • In a small skillet, melt butter over medium heat. Add pine nuts, stir to coat with the butter, and reduce heat to medium-low.
  • Cook, stirring frequently, until nuts are golden brown, 2 to 4 minutes. Keep a close watch over the nuts; they can burn quickly once they begin to brown.
  • Transfer nuts to a bowl while still warm and salt them lightly.
  • Brush a medium oval baking dish - approximately 6-inch by 10-inches - with olive oil.
  • Spread 1/4 cup of tomato sauce in the bottom of the dish.
  • Lay 1/3 of the eggplant slices in a single layer over the sauce, covering as much surface area of the bottom of the dish as possible.
  • Spoon 1/2 the meat evenly over eggplant.
  • Pour 1/3 of the remaining tomato sauce evenly over meat.
  • Sprinkle with 1/3 of the pine nuts. Layer again with eggplant, meat, tomato sauce and pine nuts.
  • Finish with a third layer of eggplant and cover with the remaining tomato sauce, sprinkling remaining pine nuts on top.
  • Pour warm chicken stock around the perimeter of the baking dish. (Sauce will thicken as it bakes.)
  • Cover pan with foil and bake for 90 minutes. Remove foil and top eggplant evenly with mozzarella.
  • Start cooking the rice; bake casserole uncovered for approximately 20 minutes, or until the cheese is bubbling and golden.
  • It should be done about the same time as the rice.
  • Serve warm in deep bowls over fluffed rice.
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David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen

David Scott Allen is the author, photographer, and cook behind Cocoa & Lavender, a weekly food blog based in Tucson, Arizona. Passionate about travel, he especially enjoys eating traditional foods and learning local customs, whether in the United States or around the globe.

David's first trip to France took place when he was 14, and he returned as often as possible thereafter. However, it wasn't until his 50th birthday that he finally made it south to Provence. The beauty, history, charm, warmth, cuisine, and - of course - the rosé wines captured his heart. He shares his Provençal recipes here on Perfectly Provence, and his food and wine pairings monthly on the Provence WineZine.

David is a firm believer that sharing a meal with friends around the table is one of life's greatest pleasures. And if it happens to be in Provence, all the better!

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