This dish is a Turkish mainstay pairing the Middle Eastern staple – eggplant – with the classic combination of peppers, onions, and tomatoes. Traditionally, you’ll find it stuffed with ground lamb and veggies, but the all-veggie version is just as juicy and delicious and oh so comforting!
Eggplant: lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol with its chlorogenic compound, is anti-carcinogenic due to its antioxidant nasunin content, is a great source of dietary fiber, protects against colon cancer, and is a great source of vitamin A, B vitamins, folate and vitamin C.
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 2 green peppers, seeded and chopped
- 1 scallion, chopped
- 1 garlic bulb, skinned and chopped
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp tomato paste
- 2 tomatoes, chopped
- Fresh tomatoes and green pepper for garnish
Place four eggplants on a baking sheet. Make a small, 2-inch long incision on the side facing up of each eggplant. This allows for steam to exit while they roast.
Pop into the oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for approximately 30 minutes, or until the eggplant bakes down to a withered look and is soft all the way throughout. Slice halfway through the flesh and pull open and to the side the eggplant to create a pocket for the vegetables.
While the eggplant is cooking, cut the pepper, scallion, onion, and garlic.
Sauté over medium heat with 1/3 cup olive oil and salt and pepper. When the onions begin to become translucent, add the tomato paste and chopped fresh tomatoes. Mix until thoroughly combined and cook until the liquid from the tomatoes has evaporated and the mixture begins to feel dry against the pan.
Into the eggplant pockets, place the vegetable mixture evenly across all four.
Top each with a slice of fresh tomato and green pepper.
Bake for another 25-30 minutes in a 375 degree Fahrenheit oven. The eggplant will absorb the flavors of the vegetable mixture and the juice from the fresh tomato and pepper will seep into the entire dish.
So flavorful, so rich, yet so so so healthy! It only looks like you’ve labored in the kitchen for hours. Wow your family or dinner guests (and yourself, of course!).
I guarantee you’ll enjoy these, even those of you who generally don’t like eggplants.