Imam Eggplants Recipe
Translated literally this means the Imam (a holy man) Fainted. I guess lying on their sides the stuffed eggplants look like a passed out Imam. Many included fresh tomato and cinnamon. This one does not. It was on the Isle of Crete that I learned the Turkish recipe. One year I decided to go to Greece early. A friend owned a resort. I ended up hooking up with a native of Crete that happened to be in the army and two tourist girls. He had extra bedrooms so we became “locals” for a while.
1/2 cup/125ml olive oil
2 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons/30ml tomato paste
handful parsley chopped
Preheat oven to 400F/204C/Gas Mark 6
Cut the eggplant in half. Scoop out the center leaving about 1/2 inch/1.27cm around the skin. Chop up the insides. Heat half of the oil in a large stove top/oven proof pan. Fry the eggplant for 2-3 minutes on each side. Remove to paper towels to drain. Add remaining oil to pan. Place onion in the pan. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Add garlic and sauté until fragrant (about 30 seconds). Stir in tomato paste, season with salt and pepper and cook another minutes. Add the chopped insides of the eggplant. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Remove from heat. Stuff the eggplant shells and return to pan. Bake for 20 minutes.
This is great on its own, with rice, couscous or even a green salad.
This recipe and more can be found in our cookbook: http://food.yadachef.com/p/cookbook.html