Aubergine( eggplant) is the queen of vegetables and the meat of the poor, since due to its flavour and versatility it is the vegetable prized above all others in Turkish cuisine. What other vegetable when raw is bitter and inedible but when cooked, roasted or fried turns into a magical rich flavorful delightness. Particularly in the summer months its privileged status is unrivalled, both in regional cooking and in the haute cuisine of the cities. Aubergines are used in nearly two hundred different recipes; stews,dolmas sun dried or fresh, roasted in mezes and salads, pickles and even in jam!
In the past when the aubergine season arrived the constant frying and broiling of aubergines was held responsible for many of the fires which spread through Istanbul's neighbourhoods of wooden houses like a whirlwind in dry weather, and edicts were issued forbidding aubergines to be brought into Istanbul for sale.
This is a typical dish which you can find on both sides of the Aegean Cost, Turkey & Greece. Pabuc means shoe so you can guess why this dish is called Pabucaki. You can either roast or boil the eggplants. Boiling them helps to maintain the shape while roasting them gives that distinctive rich flavour.
1 clove garlic
5-6 sun dried tomatoes( or 1 fresh)
1-2 long green peppers
1 tablespoon tomato puree
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 bay leaf
Fresh kaşar cheese( feta or mozarella)
Cut them in two .Brush olive oil on top of a baking tray.Place eggplants skin side up. Poke holes and roast in the oven at 250 C until the flesh is soft. (30-45 minutes depending on the variety ) If you use long eggplants just poke and roast them.
Once they cool down, scoop out the flesh without damaging the skin. (cut lengthways for thin ones) .Cut the sun dried tomatoes in cubes. In a pan put olive oil heat then add onions, mashed garlic, bayleaf and peppers. Stir until soft on low heat.
Add sugar , salt and tomato puree and nutmeg. Dice the roasted eggplant flesh and add them with the sun dried tomatoes and sautee for 2-5 minutes on low heat with lid on. Adjust seasoning and stuff the eggplants.
Place stuffed eggplants in an oven dish .Put grated fresh Kasar on top, drizzle some olive oil and bake in a preheated oven at 180 C for 15-20 minutes.
Add chopped parsley on top and serve immediately while it is still hot.