This seems absolutely to be the French cousin on imam bayaldi – aubergine split and baked with tomato, onion, herbs and garlic and olives. The advantage is that it can be made in advance. Serves 4; from Simple French Food 40th Anniversary Edition.
Recipe below includes artichokes but anticipate missing these out. Here are some French recipes for it – remarkably not many English recipes.
Ingredients – for 4
- 3 medium elongated eggplants – i.e. about 450-550gms, rinsed wiped dry and ends trimmed but unpeeled
- 2 large firm ripe tomatoes, core removed, unpeeled, split vertically the halves sliced thinly (vertically = through the stalk and bottom I guess?!)
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely sliced
- 80-125ml olive oil
- 4 tender artichokes, pared to hearts , quartered, chokes removed – ain’t happening – maybe try some frozen stuff
- 90gms black olives
- 2 bay leaves, broken into small pieces
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs – thyme, oregano, savory – a herb often used in “herbs de provence.
- salt, pepper
If you only have a large, egg-shaped eggplant then split it and cut it into slices crosswise (what?). Otherwise, split the small elongated variety, place the halves split side down on the chopping board and cut each, leaving the slices attached at the stem, into 0.8mm thicknesses, forming fans
Slip tomato slices into the slits of the sectioned eggplant halves and arrange them, gently forced together, side by side in a large, oiled gratin dish on the bottom of which has been scattered half of the chopped onion and sliced garlic.
Pour the olive oil into a bowl and once the artichoke quarters are pared, turn them round in the oil coating them to protect them from contact with the air. Force them and the olives into the crevices or hollows left by the eggplant fans, fit in the bay leaves here and there, scatter the remaining onion and garlic over the surface and sprinkle with the mixed herbs, salt and pepper. Press everything into place to form as regular surface as possible and dribble any remaining oil over the entire surface, adding a little more if necessary.
Bake for about 1.5 hours with a sheet of aluminium foil placed loosely over the surface, starting with a 230C oven but turning down to 175-180C after 10 mins or so. When done the eggplant should be perfectly soft to the touch.
Serve as an hors d’ouvre either tepid or cold (but not chilled) sprinkled if you like with chopped parsley or fresh basil torn into small fragments.
Here we see a slower cooking time and some cheese inserted into the slices
This looks like a more conventional recipe