Ikarian Stuffed Eggplant (Imam Bayildi)
Most of the food eaten in Ikaria is harvested from seasonal gardens, which provide the purest form of the Mediterranean diet in the world. Summer plots feature arugula tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, and varieties of citrus fruits. This Ikarian variation of an iconic Turkish eggplant recipe is a celebration of Ikarian summer vegetables and offers antioxidant-rich anthocyanins from the popular nightshade eggplant. Add the heartiness of potatoes and you have another one-pan meal that won’t leave you wanting. This is a chewy, richly textured entree that’s hearty enough to satisfy even your biggest carnivores at dinner time.
5 medium eggplants, ends cut off, scored deeply four times lengthwise
1 1⁄4 cups extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 cup parsley, chopped
2 large tomatoes, diced
2 onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, sliced in thirds
1 bell pepper (green, red, or yellow), diced
1 potato, peeled and thinly sliced
Salt and pepper, to taste
In a large pan, sauté the eggplants over medium-high heat in 1⁄4 cup of the olive oil for about 10 minutes, rotating often.
While the eggplants cook, in a medium bowl, mix together the parsley, tomatoes, onions, garlic, bell pepper, and the remaining 1 cup olive oil as your stuffing mixture.
In a separate pan, sauté the stuffing for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the onions are tender.
Add the stuffing mix on top of the eggplants.
Place potatoes around the eggplants in the pan.
Cook over low heat for about 30 minutes, checking the pan for any cooking liquid and basting with it if needed.
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