I created some eggplant parmesan boats on The Kitchen recently and people really seemed to love them, so I thought, why not create an eggplant boat with a summery twist? The Mediterranean spices here taste just right on a steamy summer night.
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Mix the oregano, salt, cumin, garlic powder and onion powder together in a small bowl. Set aside.
Halve the eggplant, then use a paring knife to cut vertical and horizontal slits across the cut side, about 3/4-inch apart. (You want to create crosshatches across the whole surface without piercing through the skin on the other side.) Place the halves on the lined baking sheet.
Spread each cut half with a tablespoon of olive oil, then split a heaping tablespoon of the spice mix between the two. Roast until the flesh is browned, tender and scoopable, 30 to 40 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil, then the onion. Cook, stirring frequently, until the onion softens, about 5 minutes. Add the harissa, ground chicken and the remaining spice mix (about 1 tablespoon). Cook the chicken, breaking it up so that it is in small pieces, until it is golden brown. Add the tomatoes and pine nuts. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the sauce is thick, at least 20 minutes.
Remove the eggplant from the oven and use a fork to scoop out the cooked insides, leaving the skins intact. Stir the scooped eggplant flesh into the tomato mixture, then fill the eggplant boats with the mixture. Return the boats to the oven and cook until the sauce is bubbling, another 10 minutes.
Mix the yogurt, dill, lemon juice, 2 tablespoons of water and salt and pepper to taste in a small bowl, using a little more water to loosen the sauce if desired.
Remove the eggplant boats from the oven and allow to cool slightly before serving. Drizzle with the yogurt sauce, then sprinkle with the pine nuts and mint and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon olive oil.
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