Lebanese Lamb, Pine Nuts & Roasted Aubergine Recipe

Lebanese Lamb, Pine Nuts & Roasted Aubergine Recipe

mayo 09, 2019

I went to a middle eastern wine tasting recently and enjoyed some beautiful spiced beef and egg plant (or aubergine!) and I just couldn't get the flavour out of my head. You know, when you're thinking about what you ate somewhere days later?!  

So I just had to look for a recipe for what I guessed was a Lebanese dish, and I searched 'beef and eggplant' on ckbk and this absolute belter came up from the cookbook, 'Classic Lebanese Cuisine' (more details at the end of this post!).  

Although I haven't included the tomato sauce here as I was out of molasses and didn't want to create something that wasn't authentic, and I also added half a teaspoon of cayenne pepper as I think it gives it a nice heat behind the sweet spices.  So this is my, probably quicker/easier version that I'm currently eating for lunch most days that end in 'y'.

In terms of photography - I shot this at approx 3/4 back lit (see the set up shot below) with natural light through my west facing patio doors, on my Canon 6D, 50mm lens at f/3.2 aperture, IOS 4000 and 1/1250 shutter speed.  Of course edited slightly too (brightened the subject and popped the colours).  

Styling - I wasn't sure how 'pretty' this would be (the pomegranates and mint helped a lot) so I kept the props neutral and fresh so I could play with the colours more. You can't go wrong with an enamelled tin plate.  I used my Monsoon printed photography backdrop as the background surface too.

Lebanese spiced minced lamb roasted aubergine pomegranate mint yoghurt tzatziki dip recipe food styling photography backdrops background surface tips

 

Recipe, to serve 2

  • 2 large eggplants / aubergines
  • 1 medium diced onion
  • ¼ teaspoon allspice
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup toasted pine nuts
  • ½ pound minced lamb
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ¼ cup fresh pomegranate seeds (optional, when in season)
  • tzatziki and mint to serve

Cut the aubergine in half lengthways and brush with olive oil. Season and score down the centre then roast in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 180c/gas mark 5.

Toast the pine nuts in a baking tin in the same oven for 3-5 minutes (keep an eye on them!).  Set aside for later.

Heat a tablespoon of olive oil and cook the lamb until there is no pink left.  Add the spices and onion, salt and pepper, sauté until the onions are tender. Mix in the pine nuts, and remove from the heat

Serve over the eggplant as soon at is baked, add tzatziki, pomegranate and mint to your liking.

This is an adaption of a recipe from Classic Lebanese Cuisine: 170 Fresh and Healthy Mediterranean Favourites, by Kamal Al-Faqih - full, licensed version available on the digital cookbook service 'ckbk ' here.

 

Behind the scenes food photography set up

food styling background photography backdrop Lebanese lamb egg plant

(White foam board bouncing light back in - no other lighting set up, I'm so basic!)

 

food styling background photography backdrop Lebanese lamb egg plant

Lebanese spiced minced lamb roasted aubergine pomegranate mint yoghurt tzatziki dip recipe food styling photography backdrops background surface tips 

 Detail of 'Monsoon' weathered grey and rust printed photography backdrop.

 

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