Like the meatless Imam Bayildi, this Turkish stuffed eggplant dish is rich, vibrant and perfect as a light supper.
2 large eggplants
2 teaspoons sea salt
1 pound ground beef
1 small onion, diced
2 medium tomatoes, one sliced into 4 slices, the rest coarsely chopped
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt, more to taste
1/2 teaspoon pepper, more to taste
1 small handful fresh parsley, chopped
2 tablespoons coconut oil or ghee
4 long green chiles or 1/2 green bell pepper cut into 4 long strips
How to Make It
Slice the eggplant in half lengthwise. Fill a large bowl with water, stir in 2 teaspoon of salt, then add the sliced eggplants. Weigh the eggplants down with a plate to keep them submerged; soak for 30 minutes while prepping the filling.
Heat a skillet on medium heat for 1 minute, then add the ground beef. Sauté until most of the pink is gone, stirring frequently to break up chunks, about 4 minutes. Add the onions and continue to sauté until they start to soften, about 4 more minutes.
Add the coarsely chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, garlic, salt and pepper; simmer until the tomatoes are softened, another 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped parsley, season to taste with more salt and pepper and set aside.
Remove the eggplants from the water, rinse and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. In a large skillet, warm 2 tablespoons oil on medium-high heat for a minute, then place the eggplant cut side down. Cook in batches until browned, about 4 minutes, then set on paper towels to drain.
Preheat oven to 400°. Scoop out the seed part of each eggplant and set aside. Don’t spoon out too much of the eggplant—just enough to make a divot to put the filling into.
Spoon in the filling, then lay down half of a chile pepper and a tomato slice on each eggplant. Bake until the eggplants are soft all the way through, 20 to 30 minutes, then rest for 5 minutes before serving.
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