I’ve never eaten this in Turkey. Somebody described it to me, and I came up with this dish — so I can’t claim it as authentic but who cares? It is a lip-smacking combination of textures and temperatures. Substantial enough to be a main course if you want to serve it that way.–Diana Henry
Turkish Baked Eggplant With Chile, Feta, and Mint
- 4 eggplants
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 2 onions thinly sliced
- 6 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 2 medium fresh red chiles halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 4 ounces feta cheese crumbled
- 3/4 cup Greek-style yogurt
- A handful of mint leaves torn
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). Halve the eggplants lengthwise and then score a diamond pattern into the flesh of each half on the cut surface, being careful not to cut all the way through. Pour about 10 tbsp olive oil over them and season with salt and pepper. Turn them over to make sure they are well coated. Roast for 40 to 45 minutes.
- While the eggplants are cooking, saute the onions in 1/4 cup olive oil until soft and golden. Add the garlic and chiles and cook for another 2 minutes, until they are soft as well.
- When the eggplants are tender put them on a serving plate, cut-side up, and squeeze lemon juice over them. Gently press the cooked flesh down to make a bit of room for the onions. Fill the eggplant cavities with the onion and sprinkle the feta on top.
- Dab the yogurt over the eggplants and throw on the mint leaves. Drizzle extra virgin olive oil over the top before serving. You can serve this warm or at room temperature.
Recipe Testers’ Reviews
I used this as a side dish for lamb sausages, and it was delicious. The eggplants were soft and a little spicy, creamy from the yogurt, and a bit sharp from the cheese. Browned onions are always a good flavor, and the freshness of mint brightened it up. I used a good quality olive oil to drizzle at the end for that fruity finish only a good oil can give. I’d think of it more as a side dish or appetizer rather than a subsitute for a main course.
Originally published June 08, 2009