Ikarian Stuffed Eggplant (Imam Bayildi)

stuffed-eggplant

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Most of the food eaten in Ikaria is harvested from seasonal gardens, which provide the purest form of the Mediterranean diet in the world. Summer plots feature arugula tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and varieties of citrus fruits. This Ikarian variation of an iconic Turkish eggplant recipe is a celebration of Ikarian summer vegetables and offers antioxidant-rich anthocyanins from the popular nightshade eggplant. Add the heartiness of potatoes and you have another one-pan meal that won’t leave you wanting. This is a chewy, richly textured entree that’s hearty enough to satisfy even your biggest carnivores at dinner time.

Ingredients

5 medium eggplants, ends cut off, scored deeply four times lengthwise

1 cup parsley, chopped

2 large tomatoes, diced

2 onions, diced

4 cloves garlic, sliced in thirds

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 potato, peeled and thinly sliced

1 bell pepper (green, red, or yellow), diced

Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

  1. In a large pan, sauté eggplants in olive oil for about 10 minutes, rotating often.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together parsley, tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell pepper, and 1 cup olive oil as your stuffing mixture.
  3. In a separate pan, sauté stuffing for 6-8 minutes, or until onions are tender.
  4. Add the stuffing mix on top and into the eggplants. Place potatoes around the eggplants in the pan.
  5. Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, checking the pan for liquid and basting with cooking liquid, if needed.