Continuing with vegetarian cooking, I decided to make the Turkish dish Imam Bayildi for dinner. Imam Bayildi contains my favorite veggies – oven roasted tomatoes and eggplant as well as caramelized onions. Yum!
The name Imam Bayildi literally translates into “the imam fainted”. There are a couple of stories behind the name:
1) A Turkish imam swooned with pleasure at the flavor when presented with this dish by his wife and he fainted upon hearing the cost of the ingredients or the amount of oil used to cook the dish.
2) An imam married the daughter of an olive oil merchant and her dowry consisted of twelve jars of the finest olive oil, with which she prepared each evening in an eggplant dish with tomatoes and onions. On the thirteenth day, there was no eggplant dish at the table. When informed that there was no more olive oil, the imam fainted.
Imam BayildiServes 4
Tomato and aubergine layers
4 large vine tomatoes; 2 aubergines; Salt; Freshly ground black pepper
6 small onions, finely sliced; 4 garlic cloves, crushed; 15 coriander seed, crushed; 10g of oregano leaves; 200ml of olive oil
7. Carefully drain any excess oil from the pans and serve hot. Alternatively, allow to cool completely then reheat in the oven for 10–15 minutes to serve.