Meat & Rice Stuffed Baby Eggplants

Written by chanie on September 22nd, 2013

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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21 Comments so far ↓

  1. aileen says:

    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. Ronnie Fein says:

    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. These look and sound phenomenal! I would eat this for dinner any night!

  4. Great recipe Chanie. I’ve made something similar before and everyone loved it. Also, I love the way you styled the dish. Beautiful pic.

  5. Memories!! LOVE THIS! I haven’t made this dish since before we had kids. Thanks for the refresher. This must hit our menu soon.

  6. Great pics for this recipe, really instructional. Thanks

  7. Yum, these look adorable and delicious

  8. It reminds us of a dish our grandmother makes. We miss her cooking, can’t wait to go Israel and have her food again.

  9. stephanie says:

    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!

  10. These are so cute, great presentation.

  11. This looks amaze! I’ve only ever had stuffed eggplant in tomato sauce. But this is something I’ll have to try out.

  12. Kirsten says:

    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!

  13. Lynn Safdie says:

    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.

  14. Salha says:

    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.

  15. salha says:

    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.

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