Offering an alternative to the traditional burger, these tasty ‘sliders’ are a real winner.
15 Minutes prep time. Approx 8 servings. 45-60 minutes
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Medium onion finely chopped
4 Cloves garlic thinly sliced
½ Teaspoon dried oregano
½ Teaspoon dried thyme
500g Minced Lamb
1kg (2 large) Eggplants
1 Char-grilled capsicum
125g Ricotta cheese
100g Grated mozzarella cheese
6 Medium tomatoes – sliced
Handful fresh basil – cut into thin strips
Olive oil spray
Salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray.
Cut eggplant into round slices about 1.5 cm thick.
Place eggplant on the tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in the oven until soft – around 15 minutes. Remove from oven but keep the oven on.
Whilst the eggplant is baking, add the olive oil to a fry pan and sauté the onions and garlic until softened. Add thyme, oregano, salt & pepper and stir.
Add minced lamb, breaking it into small pieces. Cook, stirring continuously
to combine, until the meat is cooked through. Remove any excess oil.
Spray an oven-proof dish with some olive oil.
Build the sliders using layers of the baked vegetables, a spoonful of the lamb mixture, some ricotta cheese, a slice of tomato and a sprinkling of the sliced basil followed by a piece of the char-grilled capsicum.
Repeat the layers until you have made several fairly even stacks using the prepared ingredients. Keep them in place with wooden toothpicks if necessary.
Cover the dish with foil and bake in the pre-heated oven for around 25-30 minutes.
Remove the foil and add the grated mozzarella cheese. Bake for a few more minutes to suit your preference for melting the cheese or longer to get the top a bit crispy.
Serve with your choice of salad using fresh locally sourced ingredients.
Add homemade tzatziki or lime wedges when serving for a flavoursome twist.
Hints & Tips:
Sprinkle the sliced eggplant in salt and let it rest for 30 minutes to draw out the moisture. Rinse it, dry it and proceed to cook. This process means the eggplant has less moisture in it, and is able to soak up the oils used when cooking.
The result is a more tender, less bitter, and tastier eggplant. Extend your prep time to allow for this whilst you prepare the other ingredients.
You can swap out the minced lamb for any other minced meat to suit your preference, and even swap the eggplant for other seasonal vegetables – maybe try sweet potato, pumpkin or zucchini.
Feel free to add other ingredients such as a pinch of chilli to the meat mix if you want to change it up.
Finally, include other cheeses such as parmesan or cheddar to add great flavours and colours to the mix.