Prep 25 mins
Cook 1 hr 40 mins
The culinary cousin of this dish is, of course, the Turkish Imam Bayildi. In ‘real greek food’, which he co-authored with food writer Charles Campion, Greek chef and restaurateur Theodore Kyriakou (widely considered to be the finest Greek chef in Britain) informs us that while "versions of this dish have become something of a favourite with fashionable chefs" Greeks have in fact "been enjoying it for years..." This is Theodore Kyriakou’s Greek version of this recipe, which I am posting for the 2005 Zaar World Tour. The preparation and cooking times below do not include the standing time for the eggplant after it has been salted. I have posted several of Theodore Kyriakou’s other recipes.
- 1 1⁄2 kg eggplants (at least 12-cm long, if possible, and the thin ones rather than the fat ones)
- 1 1⁄3 kg Spanish onions, peeled and thinly sliced
- 100 ml oil
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 200 g plum tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
- 2 whole nutmegs, grated
- 4 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
- 5 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced
- sea salt, to taste
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- Peel half the skin away from the eggplants in long strips, so that they look stripy. With the tip of a paring knife, make a deep slash lenghtways on each eggplant. Sprinkle the eggplants with salt and allow them to stand for 30 minutes, then rinse.
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4.
- Put the onions into a pan, preferably non-stick, with 50ml of the olive oil and the sugar. Cook very slowly for about 1 hour until the onions are completely soft and the mixture is the consistency of a light jam.
- Spread one third of the mixture over the base of an oiled casserole dish (it needs to be a casserole dish with a lid, as you'll need to use the lid later), then add a layer of chopped tomatoes and set aside.
- Add the remaining tomatoes to the fried onions in the pan; and add the nutmeg and half of the parsley; mix well and cook for 10 minutes.
- Add the water to the pan contents and stir; arrange the eggplants on the onion mixture in the bottom of the casserole and with a spoon, stuff the garlic slices into the slashes in the eggplants.
- Add the pan contents to the casserole dish and work it into the slashes in the eggplants as well. At this point, the casserole dish should be really full!
- Season to taste and pour the remaining oil over the contents; cover the casserole with a sheet of foil and then the lid. This should ensure that it is thoroughly sealed.
- Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, or until the eggplants are really soft. If you like a thick sauce, remove the lid for the last 10 minutes to allow it to dry off a little.
- Allow the dish to cool off until it is lukewarm, then sprinkle with the remaining parsley and serve.
Tasty. DD1 (5 years old) liked it. I made a version of this with regular eggplant, the fat ones cutting them smaller, regular onions, light tasting extra virgin olive oil, extra date molasses instead of sugar, a touch of recipe#257499 instead of nutmeg because we do not consume intoxicants, organic garlic cloves, plus the rest of the ingredients. Made for Healthy Choices Tag Game 2013%u200F.