i was away this weekend passed and had to charge paleoslave with lunch preps for the week. here’s one of the recipes he prepared, a turkish dish said to have been so delicious when served to the imam that he swooned (the imam fainted is the name of the dish). very yummy.

not a very flattering picture of a dish very flattering to the taste buds

imam bayildi


  • 2 eggplants
  • 5tbsp olive oil
  • 1 lrg onion, finely chopped
  • 2 lrg garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 x 14oz cans chopped tomatoes
  • 3tbsp dates, chopped
  • 3tbsp parsley, finely chopped
  • zest of half a lemon
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2tsp ground cumin
  • pinch of cayenne
  • salt & pepper


cut each eggplant in half lengthwise. scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1/4 inch shell all around.

finely chop the eggplant flesh, place in a colander, sprinkle with salt and let drain for 30 minutes. rinse and pat dry.

heat 3 tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet. add onions and cook on medium high heat until softened. add garlic and cook an additional 2 minutes, stirring.

add tomatoes, eggplant flesh, dates, parsley, lemon zest, lemon juice, cinnamon, cumin, and cayenne to the pan. season with salt and pepper to taste. simmer for 20 minutes, stirring on occasion, until the mixture has thickened.

spoon the mixture into the eggplant shells, mounding slightly. place the shells in an ovenproof dish and add the remaining olive oil.

cover with foil. roast in a 350 degree oven for 45 – 50 minutes. until shells are tender and filling is hot.

serve hot or cool and chill until served – the one pictured above was consumed for lunch in my studio today. i am blessed with good fortune, good paleoslave, and good food.