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This is a delicious baked eggplant dish that is redolent of sautéed peppers, tomato, parsley, onion, garlic, and olive oil. This particular recipe is a variant of the one by Tori Avey, author of The Shiksa in the Kitchen blog. My mom prepared it using eggplants, peppers, and tomatoes from her garden. It was spectacular. You can find the original recipe at http://theshiksa.com/2012/03/26/imam-bayildi-roasted-stuffed-eggplant.
- 4 long purple eggplants (Chinese or Japanese style) or 1 1⁄2 lbs purple eggplants (Chinese or Japanese style)
- 5 tablespoons olive oil, divided (or more, if needed)
- 4 large garlic cloves, peeled and slivered
- 1 large onions, sliced into very thin, half-moon style slices or 2 cups sliced onions
- 2 sweet red peppers, very thinly sliced
- 1 large tomatoes, finely diced, drained or 8 ounces diced tomatoes
- 3⁄4 cup fresh Italian parsley, chopped
- 1⁄2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 1⁄2 teaspoon sugar
- 1⁄4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 large tomatoes, grated or 8 ounces grated tomatoes
- Peel the eggplants in stripes, salt the exterior of the eggplant generously, and set aside for 45 minutes. Don't chop the tops off.
- Pour 3 Tbsp of olive oil in a deep saute pan. Add onions, garlic, and red peppers. Sauté them until onion is transparent. Stir frequently to prevent browning of onions and garlic. This is one of the key steps to Imam Bayildi.
- After onions are cooked, add finely diced tomatoes, chopped parsley, salt, pepper and sugar into the sauté pan. Cook for another 5 minutes. Turn the heat off and let it cool.
- Pat the eggplants dry. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a pan, fry the eggplants on each side until they are golden brown (1-2 min). Add more olive oil if needed to fry the rest. Set the eggplants in a baking dish to cool.
- Slit an opening in the middle of the eggplant half way through. Don't cut all the way through the eggplant. Make the opening a little bigger with your fingers. You want it to look like a canoe.
- Equally divide the filling among the eggplants. Stuff them well. Pile any remaining stuffing on top.
- Pour the grated tomato into the baking pan, cover the pan with aluminum foil. Make several slits on the foil to let the steam escape. Bake in a 350-degree oven for 45 minutes or until the eggplants are cooked thoroughly. Remove foil, bake 10 more minutes.
- Serve warm with something you can spoon the juices over. It's good with rice. It would also be good with potatoes or some fresh pita bread.