- 2 large eggplants (about 3 pounds)
- ½ cup olive oil
- ½ cup chopped walnuts
- ½ cup thinly sliced onion
- 2 tablespoons sliced garlic
- ¼ cup kashk or 2% plain yogurt
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1½ cups sliced onion
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- ¼ cup dried mint
- ¼ cup sliced garlic
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint (optional)
Preheat oven to 425 F.
Peel eggplants and slice them ½-inch thick. Brush eggplants heavily with oil, season with salt and place in a single layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 20 minutes, turning halfway through or until eggplants are browned and tender.
Layer eggplant slices with walnuts, sliced onion, and sliced garlic in an 8-inch wide pot.
Combine kashk and water, pour over eggplant, bring to a simmer, cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes. Remove lid and let simmer 5 minutes longer to evaporate most of the liquid.
Heat olive oil in a frying pan over medium-low heat, add onion and sauté for 10 minutes or until caramelized. Add turmeric, mint, and garlic and cook gently for 2 minutes longer or until garlic is softened. Set aside.
Add half of onion mixture to eggplant and mix well. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle remaining onion mixture on top and garnish with fresh mint if desired.
This savoury dish is earthy, fragrant, bitter-sour and gently sweet. That throws down the gauntlet for a wine match. But the mighty grape is up to the challenge, I think, as long as you steer clear of wines with loads of oak, especially New World cabernet and chardonnay. My suggestion would be to joust with a full-bodied red from Portugal, Spain or, perhaps best of all, the Rhône Valley or Languedoc-Roussillon regions of France. They tend to be armed with solid acidity and herbal notes that should match hand-in-glove (or gauntlet) with the ingredients. Beppi Crosariol