|1||pound Italian eggplant (about 2 to 3)|
|Salt and pepper, to taste|
|4||tablespoons olive oil|
|3||cloves garlic, chopped|
|8||ounces lean ground beef|
|2||cups tomato sauce (homemade or store - bought)|
|4||tablespoons chopped parsley|
|1/4||cup crumbled feta cheese, or to taste (for serving)|
2. Fill a large bowl with cold water and salt it generously. Place the eggplant in the water for 30 minutes.
3. Set the oven at 375 degrees.
4. Remove eggplant from water and pat dry with paper towels. Set the eggplant in a baking dish large enough to hold them in one layer, putting them flat sides down so the openings are on top. Sprinkle them with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and 3 tablespoons water. Bake for 20 minutes or until somewhat softened but not cooked through.
5. Meanwhile, in a large skillet heat the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until softened.
6. Add the ground beef and continue cooking, stirring constantly, until meat is browned. Add the tomato sauce, salt, pepper, 2 tablespoons of the chopped parsley, and the remaining 3 tablespoons water. Continue cooking for 10 to 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.
7. Fill the eggplant with the meat mixture, letting it overflow if necessary. Put any extra meat sauce around the eggplant.
8. Cover tightly with foil. Con tinue baking for 30 to 40 minutes or until the eggplant are cooked through. Sprinkle with the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley and feta. Adapted from Roza Hasanaj-Mija