Welcome to the new blog! As you can see, we’ve changed brands, moved domains and are back better than ever! If you have a moment, take a look around: the website has plenty of new content – lots of info on celiac disease and why we eat gluten-free, sections informing you about how to shop safely in Europe and in Germany, and also a few personal recommendations should you ever come to Cologne. I’ve also revamped the about me-section. It now has a bunch of new information on the blog’s culinary philosophy, a bit of a reading list and a few fun pictures from yours truly during the days of yore. Enjoy!
Anyway, with the new look come new challenges: particularly having to take a wonderful picture every time I cook a recipe. Winter is coming, so I’m a tad bit afraid. Bring it on!
The first recipe I’m posting under the new Gourmari-feel is Turkish Eggplant Halves, a delicious and rich dish you can have for dinner using only a few simple ingredients. If you need ideas on what to bring to the office tomorrow, then this dish isn’t it, but you could make a bit more Bulgur than you require for the eggplants and then work that into a delicious salad using some tomatoes, carrots and cucumber, perhaps even a dollop of yoghurt and a piece of avocado! If you don’t have gluten-free couscous available, you can substitute for another grain. Think buckwheat, millet or quinoa. Even whole grain rice would work.
Eggplants: one of the more underestimated vegetables. I used to only be able to eat them if they were chopped into thin slices, covered in oil and grilled. Eventually, I met Melanzane alla Parmigiana, which is oil-covered grilled eggplant slices stacked up like lasagna sheets between rich and delicious layers of tomato sauce and parmigiana cheese. So good!
But, eggplants are not only a popular vegetable in Italian cuisine, our Turkish friends also eat eggplant a-plenty, often in combination with tomato sauce.
I was actually living in Turkey when I first became vegetarian, and one of the dishes my mom often made for me were rice-filled paprika or zucchini, boiled in a tomato sauce. I think this version is better though: the eggplant has more of a distinct taste and it works really well with the spicy tomato-ey bulgur!
If you use small eggplants, this dish can totally work as an appetizer, along with a small leaf salad. We had it with a couple of falafel (made from a boxed mix that was sitting around in my pantry) that day and a dash of yoghurt sauce.
Gluten-free Bulgur-filled Turkish Eggplant Halves
1 recipe gluten-free bulgur imitation
2 medium sized eggplants
2 large tomatoes (or 1 coeur de boeuf tomato)
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove (or more if you fancy)
salt, pepper and chopped parsley
1 wedge parmigiano (about 50g, grated)
Four dollops of yoghurt (use anything between Greek and low fat)
While the bulgur is cooking, wash the two eggplants and them in half.
Proceed to carve out with the help of a knife and a spoon. Cut the eggplant meat into squares. Do the same with the tomatoes.
Peel the onion and chop it finely. Do the same with the garlic clove.
Line a baking tin with baking parchment or grease a fire-proof casserole dish.
Bring a pot of water to a boil, add the eggplants and cook for about four minutes.
Carefully remove eggplants from boiling water and place on baking tin or greased casserole dish.
Heat your oven to 220°C.
Heat a chug of olive oil in a pan and add the chopped onion. Fry until fragrant and slightly browned. Add the eggplant pieces and fry until tender. Add the tomato pieces and the chopped garlic. Fry for another three minutes, adding salt and pepper to taste.
Finally, add the parsley and set the vegetable mix aside.
Assemble the filled eggplant, distributing the vegetable mix evenly between all four eggplant halves. Top with couscous.
Sprinkle with grated cheese. Place casserole dish or baking tin in oven and bake eggplants for about fifteen minutes (or until the cheese has melted).
Serve warm, topped with a dollop of yoghurt, preferably along with a cold and delicious salad.