Meat & Rice Stuffed Baby Eggplants

Meat & Rice Stuffed Baby Eggplants

As we approach the last days of the holiday of Sukkot, I wanted to share a nontraditional “stuffed” recipe, for those looking for a change from traditional holipches/holishkes (stuffed cabbage). If you’ve always wondered why Hungarian style stuffed cabbage is served up on Sukkot, it’s because we want to celebrate the abundance of the harvest season. Fall is when farmers harvest their wheat in Israel, and stuffing vegetables with filling symbolizes their desire for a year of overflowing harvest. Although it is customary for many to eat stuffed cabbage, any stuffed recipe is well suited to honor this custom. You can stuff grape leaves, zucchini, peppers, or even fruit for dessert!

As I mentioned in this post, I was first introduced to the idea of mechshie when I married into a sephardic family. My mother in law taught me to prepare various dishes of meat & rice filled vegetables – each with it’s own unique flavor. Having grown up with these traditional Syrian dishes, my husband loves when I surprise him by making them. Although my twist on tomato & zucchini mechshie (which I’ve dubbed “mechshie ratatouille”) is my all time favorite, this lighter stuffed eggplant version is a close second.

If you want to go the traditional route, but you’re overwhelmed by the idea of making stuffed cabbage, try my Bubby’s cabbage soup with flanken. It tastes just like stuffed cabbage, without all the work! You can even leave out the flanken and make mini meat & rice balls instead.

Related Recipes:

zucchini and tomato mechshie “ratatouille”
globe zucchini mechshie with tamarind and prunes

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30 thoughts on “Meat & Rice Stuffed Baby Eggplants

  1. thank you VERY much my children love this soup, I could never find a great recipe . going today to get all the ingredients and surprising them this weekend . My Children are grown so Im taking the soup with me to NYC.

  2. Oh this brings back such wonderful memories of my grandma. We are not Sephardic, but Romanians cook a lot of Turkish food and she made these. Never with allspice though, which seems like a nice touch. I think maybe she sprinkled in a little clove. Just wonderful!

  3. ooh, this is our kind of recipe—literally! you may think it’s “non-traditional,” but in our house, a holiday isn’t a holiday without a mechshe!

  4. Chanie,
    Thanks for this recipe! I’ve added it to the Farm Fresh Feasts Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient, a resource for folks like me who love to eat from the farm share.
    I appreciate your help in making this index better!

  5. My wonderful MIL makes this delicious dish, she stuffs vegetables better than anyone I know. We had meschi eggplant for holidays and it was so good, my husband said she made it with love.

  6. I don’t usually leave comments. BUT, THANK YOU, so much. Totally appropriate that I needed to get this recipe from Brooklyn. My family never wrote it down, it was just what we made. But I have memory issues now, and I know what it should look and smell and taste like, I know there should be eggplant pulp in the pot. I know it isn’t sweet and there is no tomato sauce. Yours is the only recipe I can find that matches what my aunts taught my mother to make and what she taught me to make. Thank you so much.

  7. For folk far from the comfort of the Brooklyn community, and other spots where no one thinks twice about dried eggplant skins, I found a supplier on line. Bakal International.
    They have the dried skins for about $8 a bag (25 in a bag). Not on a string and not tied up with string, and so far, from the looks of it, none of them have worms, either. That was always a risk with the packs of 12 tied up in string.

    Again, thanks for this particular recipe.

  8. hi im so excited to try these for the upcoming holiday. im just wondering if i could freeze them as i like to start my cooking early

  9. This looks so good. I’m going to try it today… I have dried eggplant that I will rehydrate and stuff, so I don’t have the core of the eggplant to lay on the bottom of the pan. I thought of lining it with potato though, what do you think? Or just leave potato out?

    I originally was going to do stuffed grape leaves with potatoes but I’m out of grape leaves and I have the eggplants so going with that!

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