Baked Eggplant with Ground Beef and Tomato Sauce
Rinse the eggplant, pat dry and remove stem ends. Cut eggplant in half lengthwise and score flesh crosswise with a knife to 1 cm (approximately 1/2 inch) from the edge. Season generously with salt and let stand for 30 minutes, then rinse off the salt in cold water. Cut the flesh from the skin, leaving a small margin attached to skins. Place the eggplant halves in a greased baking dish.
Peel the onion and chop finely. Blanch tomatoes with boiling water, rinse, peel, remove seeds and dice. Peel garlic and chop finely. Rinse parsley and sage, shake dry and chop finely.
Preheat the oven to 200°C (approximately 400°F).
In a pan, heat 3 tablespoons olive oil and sauté the onion until soft. Add the ground beef and cook until crumbly, then sprinkle with flour, stir in the milk and simmer briefly. Add eggplant flesh, season with salt, pepper and half of the herbs and simmer for a few minutes while stirring. Remove from heat, let cool slightly and stir in the egg. Put the meat filling into the eggplant, sprinkle with breadcrumbs and top with knobs of butter. Bake in preheated oven about 25 minutes.
Sauté the garlic in remaining oil until golden (do not allow garlic to brown, which would make the garlic taste bitter). Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper and bring to a brief boil. 10 minutes before end of eggplant baking time, pour sauce over the eggplant and continue baking. Serve sprinkled with the remaining herbs.