Iman bayaldi

Tonia Buxton cooks a simple but delicious Greek vegetarian dish, rich with Mediterranean flavours
By Tonia Buxton
Iman bayaldi
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus degorging time
  • Effort: easy

Ingredients

  • 2 large aubergines, sliced lengthways
  • salt, for degorging (see cooks note below)
  • 3 potatoes, peeled and sliced lengthways
  • 3 courgettes, sliced lengthways
  • 100 ml olive oil
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 1 heads garlic, cloves peeled and left whole
  • 400 g canned chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tsp cinnamon

Tips and Suggestions


'Degorging' an aubergine means to sprinkle the slices with salt and then let them stand for 1-2 hours for the juices to be drawn out. It is done to remove bitter juices and excess moisture. It also helps prevent the aubergine from absorbing too much oil while cooking. Rinse the aubergine well after salting as any excess salt left on can make it inedible.

Method

1. Sprinkle the sliced aubergines with salt and allow to drain on kitchen paper for 1-2 hours. Rinse away any liquid and salt, then dry thoroughly.

2. Heat half the olive oil in a heavy-based frying pan and fry all the vegetables, one type at a time, until golden brown, leaving the aubergines until last as they can make the oil bitter.

3. Heat the remaining olive oil and sweat the onions and garlic until softened. Add the tomatoes and cinnamon and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Simmer gently until slightly thickened.

4. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4.

5. In a large ovenproof dish, put a layer of potatoes and then cover with some of the tomato sauce. Next, add a layer of aubergines, cover with sauce, then add the courgettes and cover with the remaining sauce.

6. Bake for about 45 minutes until heated through and bubbling.

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