Eggplant Turkish Style
|Ripe tomatoes||4 Medium|
|Eggplants||3 Pound (3 medium size, 1 pound each)|
|Salt||2 Tablespoon (for draining)|
|Olive oil||2 Tablespoon|
|Garlic||4 Clove (20 gm), crushed|
|Yellow onions||3 Medium, peeled and sliced|
|Chopped parsley||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Dried currants||1⁄4 Cup (4 tbs)|
|Freshly ground black pepper||To Taste|
|Olive oil||1⁄2 Cup (8 tbs)|
|Whole thyme||1⁄2 Teaspoon|
|Bay leaves||2 , crumbled|
|Lemon||1 , juiced|
Dice the tomatoes and drain them in a colander for 1 hour.
Discard the juice.
Choose long and narrow eggplants, if possible.
Cut off the stems and cut the plant in half, the long way.
Using a vegetable peeler, remove 3 long pieces of the peel, each about 1 inch wide, the long way.
Move the peeler back and forth.
This will help moisture flow out of the eggplant.
Using a large metal spoon, scoop out a bit of the eggplant, leaving a boat that has very thick sides and bottom.
Coarsely chop the scrapings and reserve.
Sprinkle the salt equally on each eggplant boat and set on a rack to drain, skin side up, for 45 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare the filling.
Heat a large frying pan and add the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and garlic.
Saute for a moment and add the onions and chopped pulp from the eggplant.
Saute until the onions are transparent, but not discolored.
Remove from heat.
Place the onions, garlic, eggplant scrapings, tomatoes, parsley, and currants in a bowl and mix gently.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Wipe the eggplant boats dry with paper towels.
Fill each with an equal amount of filling and place them in an oven proof casserole just big enough to take them comfortably.
Mix the 1/2 cup olive oil with 1/2 cup water, and the thyme, bay leaves, sugar, and lemon juice.
Pour 2 tablespoons of this mixture on the top of each eggplant boat and pour the remaining liquid in the bottom of the pan.
Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer until the eggplants are quite soft, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.
Remove from the heat and allow to cool with the lid on.
Serve cold or at room temperature.
This is great for a nonmeat meal or as an appetizer.