Eggplant "Imam Baaldi"

Imam Baaldi isn't a man's name, but Turkish for "The priest has fainted!" According to the ancient legend, when this dish was first served to a certain priest, he passed out from sheer joy.

The dish should be served very cold; so refrigerate for one day before serving.

Ingredients

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 7 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup currants Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 fresh bay leaves, crushed or ½ teaspoon dried, powdered bay leaf

Method

Presoak a clay pot, top and bottom, in water for 15 minutes.

Cut the eggplant in half. Carefully scoop out most of the pulp without damaging the skin, then set the skins aside. Chop the eggplant pulp, tomatoes, and onions and fry the mixture in 3 tablespoons olive oil until tender and the onion is transparent. Add the currants, then fill the reserved eggplant skins with the mixture. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Place in the presoaked pot, add ½ cup of water to the bottom. Blend the remaining olive oil, the thyme, the bay leaves, and sprinkle over the top.

Cover the pot and place it in a cold oven.

Set the oven temperature at 450 degrees.

Cook for 75 minutes.

The eggplant should be quite soft. Serve very cold.

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