Turkish Baked Eggplant
July 26, 2019
By Elizabeth Palmer Califano

This classic Turkish dish revolves around a handful of simple ingredients, making their quality of the utmost importance. Good quality extra virgin olive oil makes all the difference here, both in the flavor of the recipe and in your health.

Olive oil contains heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, and also keeps your hair, skin, and nails in tip-top shape. Eggplant is high in fiber, potassium, and B vitamins, while being low in calories. It also contains a special flavonoid that has been found to help lower blood pressure. Serve this dish with a lightly dressed green salad and a loaf of crusty bread to soak up all the delicious saucy flavors. 

 

Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (includes 1-hour cooking time)

Serves: 2 (easily doubled)

 

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium eggplant, cut in half lengthwise, and ¼ inch of inner seeds scooped out and discarded 
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • 1 small yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1-inch knob ginger, peeled and minced
  • 2 plum tomatoes, quartered
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ cup plain sheep’s milk yogurt 
  • 1-2 tablespoons pomegranate molasses (optional)
  • chopped toasted almonds, to garnish
  • chopped fresh mint, to garnish

 

Directions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. On a small baking sheet, arrange the prepared eggplant cut side up. Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and cover with foil. Bake for 45 minutes, until completely softened. 
  2. While the eggplant cooks, prepare the filling. In a skillet, heat a drizzle of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and ginger, and cook until the onions begin to soften and turn golden in parts. 
  3. Add the tomatoes, cumin, and a pinch of salt to the onion mixture. Cook for 10-15 minutes over low heat until a chunky sauce forms. Set aside until the eggplant finishes cooking. 
  4. Scoop the tomato filling into the roasted eggplant, and bake uncovered for 10-15 more minutes, checking to make sure it doesn’t get too browned. 
  5. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 20 minutes to cool slightly. Transfer to a plate, drizzle with the yogurt and molasses, sprinkle over the mint and almonds, and enjoy! 

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About the Author

Elizabeth Palmer Califano
Elizabeth is a graduate of Hamilton College and The French Culinary Institute, as well as an avid world traveler and dinner party hostess. For more information, visit her website: www.elizabethpalmerkitchen.com