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.
The Konfinos live in a beautiful apartment on the Bosporus, looking over Istanbul. The invited guests at this weekly potluck dinner were relatives and friends from Edirne (formerly Adrianapole), a city in western Anatolia where the Konfinos once lived. Eggplant caviar was one of the many appetizers, but there were several other eggplant dishes, including a very Jewish almodrote de berenjena, which is kind of a delicious eggplant kugel whose history goes back to pre-Inquisition Spain.
I have updated the recipe for almodrote a bit, and it has become a favorite in my own family.
Joan Nathan is Tablet Magazine’s food columnist and the author of 10 cookbooks including King Solomon’s Table: a Culinary Exploration of Jewish Cooking from Around the World.