Imam Bayildi

INGREDIENTS

  • 2 medium or 4 small eggplants, cut in half lengthwise
  • 1 large or 2 medium onions, sliced very thin
  • 6 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 ½ pounds (3 large or 6 medium) tomatoes, peeled and chopped
  • ¼ cup finely chopped fresh parsley
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh dill
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh basil (optional)
  •  Salt
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • 2 ½ teaspoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice (optional)

PREPARATION

  1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil or parchment and brush with olive oil. Slit the eggplants down the middle, being careful not to cut through the skin. Place on the baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, until the outer skin begins to shrivel. Remove from the oven and transfer, cut side down, to a colander set in the sink. Allow to drain for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium heat in a large, lidded skillet and add the onions. Cook, stirring often, until the onions are very tender, 5 to 8 minutes, and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant. Remove from the heat and transfer to a bowl. Add the tomatoes, herbs, salt to taste and 1 teaspoon of the sugar and 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil.
  3. Turn the eggplants over and place in the pan, cut side up. Season with salt. Fill with the onion and tomato mixture. Mix together the remaining olive oil, the remaining sugar, the water and the lemon juice. Drizzle over and around the eggplants. Cover the pan and place over low heat. Cook gently for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, checking the pan for liquid and basting from time to time with the liquid in the pan, and adding water to the pan if it becomes too dry. By the end of cooking the eggplants should be practically flat and the liquid in the pan slightly caramelized. Spoon this juice over the eggplant. Allow to cool in the pan, and serve at room temperature.

Tip

  • Advance preparation: You can roast the eggplant through Step 1 and make the filling through Step 2 several hours before assembling and cooking the imam bayildi. Once cooked, the finished dish can sit for several hours.

Orange Dill Carrots

Ingredients
1 pound carrots
1 cup fresh orange juice
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon picked fresh dill leaves

Directions
Cut a 1-inch chunk off one end of a carrot at an angle. Roll the carrot a quarter turn and cut another 1-inch chunk at an angle. Continue rolling and cutting all of the carrots into 1-inch chunks. Combine the carrots and orange juice in a large saucepan. Add enough water to just cover the carrots. Add the butter and 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper.

Bring to a boil, and then reduce the heat to maintain a steady simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the carrots are tender and the liquid has reduced to a glaze, about 20 minutes. Top with the dill and serve.

Zucchini Patties

ingredients:

2 1/2 cups coarsely grated zucchini (from about 3 medium)
1 tsp salt, divided
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/2 c (or more) all purpose flour
1/2 c crumbled feta cheese
1 c chopped fresh italian parsley
1/2 c chopped green onions
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh dill
vegetable oil for frying (recommend: corn oil or grape seed oil)
hummus or yogurt

DIRECTIONS:

Toss zucchini and 1/2 teaspoon salt in large bowl.  Let stand 5 minutes.  Transfer to sieve.  Press out excess liquid.  Place zucchini in dry bowl.  Mix in egg, yolk, 1/2 cup flour, cheese, and 1/2 teaspoon salt.  Mix in parsley, onions, and dill.  If batter is very wet, add more flour by spoonfuls.

Heat 2 tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp corn oil in large skillet over medium heat.  Working in batches, drop batter by rounded tablespoonfuls into skillet.  Fry patties until golden, 5 minutes per side.  Transfer to paper towels.  DO AHEAD Can be made 1 day ahead.  Place on baking sheet, cover, and chill.  Rewarm uncovered in 350 oven for 12 minutes.  Serve with yogurt or hummus.