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Sweet figs and seasonal eggplant pair up in this lamb skillet dinner.
The day after we returned from our Wisconsin vacation, I was a little at loose ends when it came to cooking. Our refrigerator was almost completely empty; its condiments an eerie throwback to when we were poor college kids. Since it was Sunday, I went over to the farmers’ market, hoping to be inspired.
Honestly, I still felt lost staring at the bins of fresh veggies, but I grabbed some tiny eggplants, zucchini, and tomatoes, thinking that at the very least I’d be able to make ratatouille again.
That idea got pushed aside when I saw that lamb stew meat was available (truthfully, I was hoping for the lamb cheeks that were advertised on the board, but they weren’t actually in stock). After grabbing some fresh figs at the co-op, it was on.
You know those things that hang around your house, beautiful but mostly unused? In my house, that would be the Le Creuset cast-iron skillet my husband bought for me last year. I adore it, but have only used it about 5 times.
If that. One of my goals in cooking is to use everything I have more, from my stocks of jam to spices to kitchenware. Turns out the skillet was perfect for creating this dish – I’ll have to get the stepladder and pull it down more often.
This dish is a bit sweet, but if you don’t have small children sharing dinner, throw a few dashes of chile pepper in. Serve it over couscous or rice, if you like.
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Lamb Skillet with Eggplant and Fig
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound lamb stew meat
- 1-2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1/2 pound eggplant, diced
- 1/2 pound fresh black mission figs, quartered
- 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Brown lamb on all sides, then remove to a plate and keep warm.
- Deglaze the pan with balsamic vinegar, scraping up any stuck bits. Add the onions and eggplant, and saute for about 5 minutes. Add the figs and tomatoes, then return meat to the pan.
- Mix the spices together in a small bowl and stir evenly into the vegetables and meat. Cook another 10 minutes, until liquid starts to evaporate a bit. Finish with lemon juice and serve.
Nutrition information is provided as a courtesy and is an estimate based on online calculators. Any nutritional information found on Stetted should be used as a general guideline only.
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