"Fainting Imam" Turkish Braised Eggplant with Aromatic Yellow Rice (gf, vegan)
Recipe type: Main Dish
Cuisine: Middle Eastern
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 lb small eggplants
  • salt to taste
  • ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 large red bell pepper, de-seeded and diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ pounds tomatoes, cored and chopped
  • ½ cup white wine or dry vermouth (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon ground allspice
  • ½ teaspoon sumac (optional), or sub lemon zest
  • ½ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ⅛ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh oregano
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh mint, plus extra for garnish
  • pinch of raw sugar
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Minced parsley leaves, to garnish
  1. Preheat the oven to 400˚F.  Cut the stems off the eggplants and halve them lengthwise.  With a sharp knife, score the flesh of the eggplant as follows, being careful not to cut through the skin: one slit lengthwise down the middle, then diagonally crosswise in 1 inch intervals.  Arrange the eggplant halves face up in a large casserole dish.  Sprinkle them with a few big pinches of salt, and allow to sit for 20 minutes.  Drizzle the eggplant with ¼ cup of the olive oil, then sprinkle with allspice and sumac or lemon zest.  Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, or until the skin starts to wrinkle and the flesh is tender.
  2. In the meantime, heat the remaining ¼ cup olive oil in a medium saucepan.   Sauté the onion and bell pepper over medium high heat until soft.  Add the garlic, and sauté for 2 more minutes.  Pour in the white wine if using, and deglaze the bottom of the pan, stirring for a minute or so.  Stir in the tomatoes.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover, and cook for 10 -12 minutes until they have released their juices, stirring occasionally.  Add cumin and cinnamon, and season to taste with salt.  Reduce heat to low and simmer for 40 minutes until very soft and saucy.  Stir in the lemon juice and fresh herbs.  Season to taste with salt.
  3. Spread the sauce over the eggplant.  Pour 1 cup water in the bottom of the pan, and sprinkle with a pinch of sugar.  Cover with foil, and bake until the eggplant is very tender and collapsed.  Serve hot, over the aromatic rice (recipe follows)
Recipe by Spoon With Me at https://spoonwithme.com/fainting-imam-turkish-braised-eggplant-with-aromatic-yellow-rice-gf-vegan/