The other day I got an email from Saveur and there were 43 vegetarian recipes that celebrate Spring vegetables. Browsing through the recipes I was inspired to try 3 of them immediately, they were all so many appetizing and delicious it was hard to pick which ones to make but I decided on 3 for now. The first recipe is Turkish Stuffed Eggplant, Imam Bayildi. It’s so simple to make and chock full of wonderful vegetables it makes a great meal or side, you decide how you would like to serve it, for me with some greens and greek yogurt with dried mint.
Choose small eggplants, I found some beautiful grafitti eggplant, small and slender, I knew they would be tender and cook quickly. The recipe calls for green pepper, cauliflower, leeks, garlic and tomato as the stuffing. Because I like to add my own spin on a recipe and frankly I am a bit tired of cauliflower (yes I finally had my fill) I chose zucchini and tri color mini peppers. They say to grate the tomatoes, ummm I don’t think so, I envisioned parts of my finger mixed with the tomatoes as all I had were small (cherry) tomatoes. I did a fine chop and drained them of their juices in a sieve. The eggplant is cut in half and roasted cut side down in the oven until soft and slightly caramelized. This is so easy to make it’s almost ridiculous and the results are delicious. The recipe calls for Aleppo or Marash pepper but I didn’t have, you can use that if happen to have it on hand instead of the sumac.
I am bringing these little gems with me to Fiesta Friday #171, egad, sweet Angie has been hosting 171 parties. She is amazing folks. Happy Mothers Day Angie!!
Turkish Stuffed Eggplant- Imam Bayildi
Recipe from Saveur (adapted by me)
2 small eggplant, cut in half with stems on
6 small tri color bell peppers or 1 medium bell pepper cleaned, seeds and veins removed and chopped
1 small zucchini chopped
1 leek, light and white parts only cleaned very well and cut in thin rounds
3 cloves garlic minced
1 cup chopped (or grated if you are brave) tomato drained of juices
salt and pepper
dried oregano (just a little)
Sumac small amount to garnish or if you have Aleppo or Marash pepper
crumbled feta (as much as you like)
Heat oven to 375 degree’s put the eggplant cut side down on a sheet pan lined with parchment and brushed with olive oil, rub some olive oil on each eggplant half as well. Roast for approximately 25 minutes or until soft and the cut side is slightly caramelized. Remove from oven and set aside.
Add a few tbs of olive oil to your sauté pan and cook the leeks until softened. Add the bell pepper, garlic and zucchini and sauté until tender and cooked through. Remove from heat and add the tomato, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Turn the eggplant over cut side up and spoon some of the filling on top about 1/2 cup for each half. Sprinkle a little dried oregano on top, drizzle with olive oil and put back in the oven for about 15 minutes until hot.
To serve, add the crumbled feta, sprinkle a little sumac and drizzle with a little olive oil.