Turkish eggplant stew is a late summer/early fall classic featuring the season’s ripe, juicy tomatoes. It starts with oven-roasting the eggplants, which deepens their flavor. Serve on its own or over grains (rice, quinoa, couscous, barley, or farro).
While researching an article on Sephardic-style Jewish holiday fare, I gleaned many delicious ideas, including this eggplant stew from a friend who grew up in Turkey. It’s a fantastic side dish, especially when tomatoes are at their best.
Eggplant is always abundant in the Mediterranean, so it’s not unusual to find eggplant on the everyday table or even served at holiday meals. If you like this recipe, you might like to try another naturally vegan Turkish classic using eggplant and tomatoes, Imam Bayildi.
Recipe adapted from Vegan Holiday Kitchen by Nava Atlas.
- 2 medium eggplants (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 3 to 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 ripe, juicy tomatoes, diced
- Juice of 1/2 to 1 lemon, or to taste
- 2 teaspoons natural granulated sugar
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley, to taste
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- Hot cooked grains (rice, quinoa, couscous, barley, or farro) for serving, optional
- Preheat the oven to 425º F.
- Prick the eggplants in several places with fork; place on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake until softened and collapsed, about 45 to 55 minutes. Cool, slice open and scoop the pulp from the skin. Discard the skin (tip: you can leave some of the eggplant attached to the skin if you'd like some extra texture) and chop the pulp into bite-sized chunks.
- Heat the oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion and sauté over medium-low heat until translucent. Add the garlic and continue to sauté until the onion is golden.
- Add the eggplant, tomatoes, lemon juice, and sugar. Cook over low heat for 20 minutes, or until the tomatoes have softened into a sauce and the flavors have melded.
- Stir in the parsley, then season with salt and pepper. Increase the lemon juice and sugar if you’d like a more pronounced sweet/sour flavor. Simmer for 5 minutes longer.
- Serve warm or at room temperature in shallow bowls, on its own or over hot cooked grains.
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Photos: Ed Chechine/Bigstock