We've been missing globe eggplants for quite some time. Where have they been? They are coming back. These gorgeous eggplants are now available at DeLuca's Specialty Foods on Portage Ave. Please enjoy this classic Turkish dish, Imam Baldi, or, the Imam fainted dead away. I've prepared it with less olive oil by grilling them on the BBQ instead of frying them, thus, hopefully, keeping the Imam quite alive and well.
4 baby globe eggplants or Japanese (peel off 3 slices of outer skin length-wise around the eggplant)
olive oil (for frying and flavour)
Rich tomato sauce (recipe follows)
Grill the eggplants over a hot grill with three strips of peel cut off of each eggplant and drizzled with olive oil. Turn and keep cooking until the eggplant is soft. Remove from heat and split open the eggplants with a sharp knife and let them rest. Spoon the rich tomato sauce into each eggplant.
Rich Tomato Sauce
1 tin crushed tomatoes (organic fire roasted is nicest)
1 onion, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp chili flakes
1 tsp chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp dried
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tbs olive oil
1/4 cup red wine (optional, try orange juice for a fresh Summer flavour)
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 tsp brown sugar (to reduce acid of tomatoes)
Preheat oven to 350°F. On the stove top, preheat olive oil in sauté pan. Carefully brown egplants on all sides. This takes some time. One option is to prepare the eggplant on a BBQ by drizzling olive oil over the eggplants prior to grilling. Remove eggplants from pan and place in a baking dish. Let eggplants rest. Split open the eggplants and spoon in the rich tomato sauce into each eggplant. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and drizzle with good olive oil. Bake for up to 30 minutes. Imam Baldi can be enjoyed hot, cold or room temperature. Serve with bread.