I was at the mini pazar in Ayvacık last week when I spied these:
I don’t know about you but I have never seen white eggplants before – have you? Big and bulbous, the veritable Moby Dicks of the patlıcan family!
I looked at them curiously and the stallholder, a woman I vaguely know from previous market forays, said ‘Do you know what to do with them?’
No, I said.
And here is what she told me, kindly slicing a normal purple eggplant to illustrate what she was describing.
Cut finely from one end towards the stem end without cutting all the way through; then slice through again below that cut. This time, cut through so you have what looks like a sort of folder, a sandwich idea but joined at one end.
In it, she said, put cheese, parsley and mint, brush with olive oil and bake in the oven. This sounded enticing so I bought two to experiment with.
The next day, I cut through my two white eggplants so I had 8 pockets. I brushed inside each with olive oil and seasoned well. Then I put a slice of cheddar cheese, some fresh parsley, dried mint – I didn’t have fresh – and dried thyme in each. I thought a dab of colour would be appetising so added a slice of bright red tomato. I closed each pocket as much as I could, brushed the outside with olive oil and put them in an oiled pyrex dish in a preheated oven (180C/350F).
I think they took 40 minutes – they didn’t need any further attention, just a little look to see how they were progressing.
We had our friends from the UK with us so this was lunch: I would definitely do this again as they were extremely tasty, just as you would imagine!
Next time however, I’ll add some garlic – can’t think how I overlooked it!
So this is yet another way with eggplant. Or aubergine. Or whatever you want to call it. Try it and see how you get on.