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A Turkish Twist on Eggplant

March 21, 2021
(Photo: Justin Covington)almodrote(Photo: Justin Covington)(Photo: Justin Covington)almodrote

I love eggplant. So, when I attended a recent Shabbat dinner in Istanbul at the home of Sami Konfino and his family, I immediately searched for the eggplant on the vast mezze of appetizers.

Featured in: A Turkish Twist on Eggplant


  • 2robust eggplants, about 2 pounds (you can substitute zucchini if you prefer)
  • ½teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1onion, chopped
  • 1clove garlic, minced
  • ½cup fresh basil, chopped
  • 1cup grated kashkaval, gruyere, manchego, or equivalent tangy sheep’s milk cheese
  • 1cup feta cheese, crumbled
  • ½cup bread crumbs or matzo meal
  • 2large eggs
  • ½cup vegetable or olive oil
  • 1cup cherry tomatoes
  • 2tablespoons Parmesan cheese, grated
Yield: Serves 6-8


  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Pierce each eggplant several times with a fork, then put in the oven for 20 minutes. Cool, then peel the skin and drain and mash the pulp, being sure to remove as much liquid as possible.

  • Step 2

    Sautee the onion and garlic in oil. Add eggplant. Stir in the feta and kashkaval (or other) cheeses, bread crumbs, eggs, and salt to taste. Spoon the mixture into a greased 9 by 13-inch casserole and smooth the surface. Press the cherry tomatoes, one by one into the mixture so they peek out the top. Sprinkle with basil and grated Parmesan cheese and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until golden on top.