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A hearty eggplant dish that is bursting with flavor and textures. Very flavorful and satisfying and easy to make! Will feed your whole family and they will love it!
First, take out the yogurt and let it come to room temperature.
Cut up the eggplant into medium sized cubes. Heat 1/2 cup olive oil in a shallow, wide, large pan on medium-high heat until a sprinkle of salt sizzles when you toss it into the oil. Add the eggplant into the hot oil, and fry them until golden brown. Try not to stir them too much. Turn them only occasionally to prevent smashing the pieces and allowing a crust to form. Then, remove the pan from the heat and remove eggplant from the oil. Set it aside and drain on a paper towel. Season with salt and pepper.
In the same large pan, heat up 1 cup of canola oil on medium high heat. Test the heat of the oil by putting a crumb of bread in and make sure it starts sizzling right away before adding a pita. Using tongs, carefully slide the pita into the oil, one at a time. Fry until both sides are a golden brown. Remove the pita from the oil and drain on a paper towel. Repeat with the remaining pitas. Break up into pieces when cooled, and set aside.
Remove excess oil from pan. Heat up the 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium high heat. Add the ground beef, breaking it up into pieces. Let it get nice and brown, then add the onion and chopped garlic. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Once the onions get softened, add the cans of crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Then, add the pomegranate molasses. It should taste a little tart. Mix and let these cook together for 6 minutes, on medium heat. Taste for salt and pepper, you may need to season again at this point.
When it’s all cooked together and seasoned as you like, add the eggplant back into the pan. Carefully mix these together but make sure not to break up the eggplant too much. Let this cook for another 5 minutes. Taste for seasoning. Then turn off heat and prepare for assembly.
In a bowl, combine yogurt with the mashed garlic. It should taste garlicky. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.
In a 13×9 casserole dish, add bottom layer of broken pita pieces. Then, fill the dish with the meat/eggplant mixture. Top with the yogurt mixture.
Toast pine nuts in clarified butter, in a small skillet on medium high heat. Watch this carefully, nuts brown very quickly. Top yogurt with pine nuts and butter. It will sizzle! Garnish with Italian parsley. Enjoy!
My kids really like this recipe because they say It taste just like pizza. Besides getting rave reviews at home, this was another popular side we used to have on the TaylorMade Menu in the cafe. This is a lovely way to use stale bread or when you have fresh farmers market tomatoes. You can use any kind you like; I have made this recipe with all kinds—red, yellow and orange tomatoes, grape tomatoes, heirloom tomatoes, etc.
Nancy is the Coupon Clipping Cook, which means she not only has an astounding number of recipes to share with us (her TK recipe box is busting at the seams!) but she's also got loads of money-saving tips in her blog (she worked at a grocery store for a number of years, so she knows her stuff). She has some pretty amazing creations, like Roasted Garlic Potato Soup and Nutty Coconut Chicken. Go check them out!
Heather is a Texas native and the blogger behind Heather's Dish. She's mom to Weston, wife to Nate, and they live in Little Rock, Arkansas with their two "stubborn and saucy" dogs Bunker and Keira. In her blog, she shares her photographs, random musings (serious and silly alike), and all kinds of scrumptious recipes---and not just evil variations of her favorite mac and cheese. Her enviable TK recipe box is a testament to that. Go see for yourself!