Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Why the Cleric Fainted (Imam Bayildi)

This dish has a very colorful name, Imam Bayildi, which is Turkish for, "Why the Cleric Fainted." The supposition is that upon tasting this dish, a priest swooned from the flavor. Yes, it is that good.

2 medium eggplants, cut lengthwise into quarters and then sliced (If you are doing this on a grill, leave them in rounds instead.)

8 tablespoons olive oil

salt and black pepper, to taste

2 beefsteak tomatoes, about 1⁄2 pound each (or 1 can diced tomatoes)

1 large yellow onion, large chop

5 garlic cloves, minced

3 tablespoons each coarsely chopped fresh cilantro, dill and basil

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 2 Tablespoons of the oil in a pan and put the eggplant slices in the pan.and saute for about 5 minutes. (You could grill them instead. Just brush the oil on the eggplant instead of in the pan.) Place the eggplant pieces in a baking dish.

In the meantime, bring a small pan of water to a boil. Plunge the tomatoes into the boiling water for about 20 seconds and then scoop them out with a slotted spoon and run cold water over them. Slip off their skins and coarsely chop the tomatoes. (Skip this step if you are using canned tomatoes.) Spread diced tomatoes over the eggplant. Layer over top the onion, garlic and herbs. Add some salt and pepper and the remaining tablespoons of olive oil.

Put dish into the oven and bake for 40 to 60 minutes.

source: adapted from the recipe at Kitchen Window

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