When Shuli Rand went to Uman, he hoped to experience purifying confessions and uplifting prayers that would open his heart. In practice, he found himself busy from morning to evening with a worshiper who took his seat. It was this strange encounter that aroused in him the desire to look for intention and meaning even in the most frustrating and monotonous actions.
In honor of Rosh Hashanah, chef and farmer Hedai Offaim hosts Shuli Rand for a session o cooking and music, and a conversation about fields in the fall, about the constant search for intention, and about the connection between Rabbi Nachman and the pioneer generation. In the oven: "Our Rabbi's Eggplants", on the piano: "Know my beloved son", not recommended: to watch on an empty stomach.
"Our Rabbi's Eggplants" - Eggplants stuffed with meat for the Rosh Hashanah table
In the market:
4 beautiful, elongated, shiny and light eggplants
1 kg of beef mixed with ground lamb
1 large onion
1 bunch of parsley
1 cup of mint leaves removed from the stalks
1 organic lemon with a thin peel
½ cup shelled pistachios
½ cup shelled pine nuts
4 cloves of garlic
Salt and ground black pepper
For the sauce:
½ cup natural pomegranate concentrate
½ cup extra virgin olive oil
Juice of one lemon
¾ cup of water
Salt and ground black pepper
In the kitchen:
Start by preparing the eggplants for the filling: wash the eggplants well. Place each eggplant on the cutting board and cut a slit across the width, about 2 cm from the base, so that it goes through most of the flesh of the eggplant but does not go all the way, leaving about 1 cm attached. Turn the eggplant on its side by 180 degrees and make another slit 2 cm away from the previous one, this time too, not all the way. Repeat the operation along the entire length of the eggplant so that when you pull the eggplant out a little, it opens like an accordion, once to one side and once to the other. Repeat with all the eggplants and rub the inside of the slits with coarse salt. Set aside on absorbent paper for about half an hour so that a little of the liquid drains out of the eggplants.
Now to prepare the filling: put the ground meat in a bowl. Finely chop the onion and add. Also chop the herbs, the lemon and its peel, the pistachios, and the garlic and add them together with the pine nuts. Season with salt and pepper and mix together into a uniform mixture.
Remove the excess coarse salt from the eggplants and push a little of the meat into each of the slits, so that the eggplants lengthen in an accordion shape thanks to the filling. Put the eggplants into a deep pan that contains them all closely. Mix the ingredients of the sauce and pour it over the eggplants. Cover with baking paper and seal the pan with aluminum foil. Transfer to an oven preheated to 250°C for about 45 minutes. Remove the aluminum cover and the baking paper and bake for another 45 minutes until the eggplants soften. From time to time, pour some of the sauce from the bottom of the pan over the eggplants.
Serve hot with white rice or a fresh vegetable salad.