Imam baildi (roasted eggplants with a tomato-onion stuffing)
A dish for the everyday greek lunch inspired from the culinary tradition of Constantinople and Minor Asia coast....... just perfect!!!
8 medium size aubergines
¾ cup of olive oil (for brushing the aubergines)
For the sauce:
½ cup of olive oil
5 medium size dry onions, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
700gr. ripe tomatoes, peeled and finely chopped
1 cup of red sweet wine (Mavrodaphne of Patras)
½ bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Clean and wash the aubergines. Halve the aubergines lengthways. Place in a big bowl with plenty of water seasoned with salt for about half an hour. Rinse and squeeze them. Brush with a good layer of olive oil and put on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes or until the flesh is soft enough (turn both sides). Make cross-shaped incisions on them with a small sharp knife and squeeze to make a hollow.
Heat the olive oil in a pot, saute the onions together with the garlic and pour the wine. Add the tomatoes, cinnamon, parsley, salt and pepper, some water and cook for about 15 minutes, until thicken the sauce.
Preheat the oven to 200oC. Lay the aubergine halves in a baking dish and stuff them with the tomato-onion mixture. We can spread some potatoes in small pieces all around and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Pour the remaining sauce over them adding a little water, drizzle with more olive oil and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour (max.) until the aubergines have collapsed.
This is a dish usually served cold.
You may fry the aubergines but it will be more heavy and less healthy.
You can also add some grated feta cheese or gruyere on the top of the aubergines 10 minutes before the food is done. It’s really delicious!