This evening, I used it as a side dish served on top of grilled boneless chicken breasts that I spritzed with olive oil and seasoned liberally with Turkish Seasoning (from Penzey's Spices). I let the Imam Bayildi cool to room temperature while the chicken was grilling. It turned out absolutely amazing to say the least. If you like ratatouille (which I do)...you will love this, too. It's simple, fresh and a perfect dish to use up your summer veggies. My simple recipe is below as well as a few photos of this delicious and gorgeous meal that captures the essence of summer from the grilled chicken to the bounty of summer veggies. The eggplants I used were so young and tender that they didn't have any seeds and were especially sweet. I also used the variety of fresh colorful tomatoes (red, orange, yellow, and purple) that I had on hand which made this dish particularly colorful. Enjoy!
|I seasoned the chicken with olive oil and Turkish Seasoning|
Skillet Style Imam Bayildi
1/4 cup olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, diced (I used a sweet Vidalia onion)
4 small to medium eggplants, diced
2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
1/4 cup water
1 1/2 cups diced fresh tomatoes, divided (I used a mixture of roma and grape tomatoes)
2 teaspoons Swerve sweetener (or other sweetener equivalent to 2 teaspoons sugar)
Salt to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
3 tablespoons chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat in a large nonstick skillet with lid. Add onions and cook until almost tender, about 5 minutes. Add eggplant, garlic and 1 more tablespoon oil; cook, stirring frequently for a few minutes until lightly coated with oil. Add 1/2 cup diced tomatoes, 1/4 cup water and cover skillet. Cook covered until eggplant is tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 to 15 minutes.
Add remaining 1 cup diced tomatoes and sweetener. Season liberally with salt and pepper, to taste. Stir in remaining 1 tablespoon oil, parsley and lemon juice. Cook uncovered about 5 minutes until thickened and excess liquid has cooked off (it should not be watery). Allow to cool to room temperature before serving. Refrigerate any leftovers.
*Note: When I add eggplant to any dish, I usually remove every other strip of skin with a paring knife or vegetable peeler (it looks striped before I cut or dice it) to reduce the amount of skin by about half. You can choose to leave all of it if preferred.
What a beautiful dish. We will love this. (Hubby says he doesn't like eggplant, but whenever I cook it up in some sort of tasty, colorful dish he always seems to make it disappear!)
I'll have to look up that Turkish spice blend.
I do think for those that aren't eggplant fans...if you can find small, young eggplant (like our Costco carries), it helps. Particularly if it has little to no seeds. I also think removing some of the skin helps too.
I know that some people like to salt eggplant before cooking to draw out any trace of bitterness. I find that if you can find them small, they usually aren't loaded with seeds like some of the larger ones and that makes a difference.
Even if you can't find the Turkish Seasoning blend, simple salt, pepper and your favorite herbs would work nicely too. If you get a chance to make this, I hope you AND hubby enjoy it. :-)
So beautiful! I'll have to add eggplant to my shopping list and try this. I know that it's traditional to serve this at room temperature, but does it hurt the flavor if I can't wait and eat it while it's hot?
Thanks! Try to find the young tender eggplants if you can because I think they are best (more tender, less seeds, etc.). No, this dish is good hot, too, if you prefer. I tasted it both ways and liked it both ways but thought the flavors were even better at room temp. :-)
I cooked this tonight so I could serve it tomorrow. I added a bit of Zeus seasoning and some cumin. I couldn't help taking a couple of bites while it was still hot. Beautiful and delicious! Thanks for the recipe!
What a great idea making the day before! So happy you liked it...Zeus seasoning and cumin sound like great additions. Hope you enjoy it when you eat it tomorrow. :-)
Even better the next day! I crumbled some feta cheese on top and served it hot as a side dish. Wonderful with chicken.
That sounds great Marianne! Great idea to change it up a little, too. So happy you enjoyed it. :-)
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