This classic Turkish dish is served throughout the Mediterranean region and is perfect for a light lunch or dinner. Made with fresh vegetables and olive oil, and served at room temperature. My kids love it with a dollop of cool yogurt (always full-fat!). I also love it with a simple salad of greens and balsamic vinegar.
See step by step photos below.
- 4 small eggplants
- 4 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 sweet onion, sliced
- 1 sweet bell pepper, sliced
- 4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium tomato, chopped
- 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- Sea salt, black pepper, Urfa pepper flakes
- 1 cup of water (perhaps more)
- A handful of chopped parsley
- Toasted pine nuts to garnish
- Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Wash the eggplants and slit from stem to base, making sure not to cut all the way through. Coat with 1-2 Tablespoons olive oil and roast in the oven for about 20 minutes. Remove from the oven.
- In a medium pan, heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons of olive oil. Add the sliced onions and peppers and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add the chopped garlic and sauté another 2 minutes, then add the fresh tomato, tomato paste, salt, black pepper, and Urfa pepper. Mix, cover and let cook until the onions and peppers are soft and caramelized. Add the lemon juice and remove from the heat, giving the mixture a stir.
- Now the eggplant should be cool enough to touch. Slit them all in half and place skin side down in a medium sauce pan. Add the water and cover. Bring the water to a soft simmer and cook for about 1 hour, until the liquid is reduced to a thick sauce and the eggplants are tender. Add more water if necessary.
- Once done, let cool. To serve, sprinkle with chopped parsley and toasted pine nuts. Enjoy!
- Most recipes for this dish call for adding sugar. I personally choose to avoid this, as I don't think it's necessary. If you use a sweet onion, like Vidalia, and cook the onions and peppers until well caramelized, the natural sweetness of the vegetables shines through without the added sugar.
- About 210 calories per serving.
Roasting the eggplants…
Preparing the stuffing…
Stuffing the eggplants…