Mom came home from something or the other with a large eggplant. I was surprised. I’m not an eggplant fan, because of the bitterness in so many commercial eggplant dishes. MomRed knows that I will walk miles to avoid eggplant. So I was not consulted, just presented with eggplant, quantity 1, going into the oven as I came home from work. Since it was storming outdoors, my storming out in search of a non-eggplant supper was not going to happen.
Mothers are sneaky. Did you know that?
The results of MomRed’s “eggplant even TXRed will eat” experiment turned out pretty well. What she made is a variant on a Turkish (and probably elsewhere as well) dish called “The Imam Fainted.” Instead of parsley, MomRed added fresh basil, as well as parsley, and she used canned tomatoes instead of fresh. She also decided that she should have peeled the eggplant first, since the skin on this one was rather tough, more so than most eggplants.
2 medium yellow or white onions, chopped.
olive oil (for sauté ing plus 1/3 cup)
2 generous cloves garlic, crushed (or minced garlic to taste)
three medium tomatoes, chopped and peeled (or a can or two of diced tomatoes, depending on the size of your eggplant)
3 Tablespoons chopped parsley (or half fresh parsley and half fresh basil, or all basil)
salt and pepper to taste
two medium eggplants ( or one larger one, or one medium eggplant if you like more sauce)
2 teaspoons sugar
3 T fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 F (or moderate oven for Celsius/gas level)
Sauté the onions in some olive oil. When they are translucent, add garlic, tomatoes, parsley, salt and pepper. Cook until mushy (or until hot through and bubbling well). Lop off the eggplant stem end. Make three lengthwise slits in each eggplant, end to end,. Set the eggplant(s) on an oven-proof cookie sheet or baking dish. Spoon hot mixture into eggplant. [The instructions say spoon, then put into dish, but you’re dealing with very hot liquids. I’d err on the side of not burning myself.] Sprinkle eggplants with sugar and lemon juice, and drizzle with 1/3 cup more olive oil. Bake covered for 40 minutes or until tender.
We had it hot and it was wonderful. You can also serve it cold (room temp) with yogurt* for the traditional style. One eggplant served three hungry adults, with chicken on the side. Rice or pita would also be good.
*I wouldn’t recommend fruit flavored, though. Or with sprinkles.