Mediterranean Vegetables With Currants
|2 to 3||tablespoons extra virgin olive oil|
|1/3||cup currants, golden raisins, or dried fruit of your c|
|½||teaspoon cinnamon (optional)|
|pinch of sugar or 1 packet Spenda® (optional)|
|salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)|
Peel the eggplant and cut into small cubes to promote quick cooking. Chop the onion and tomato. Sauté the eggplant, onion, and tomato in olive oil over medium heat. Cover the pan to speed up the cooking, if desired, reducing heat slightly.
When nearly done (about 6 to 7 minutes), add the currants plus the optional cinnamon and a touch of sugar or sweetener. Continue cooking until the vegetables are tender, stirring occasionally. The cooking time will vary, so watch the eggplant, not the clock. The dish will cook in 15 minutes or less.
Remove from the heat and season lightly with salt and pepper, if desired. The dish can be served hot or left to reach room temperature, then refrigerated and served very cold. This dish works very well both ways. We suggest making a double recipe in a large pan, refrigerating the leftovers, and deciding which way you like best.
Recipe serves 4.
Chef’s Note: This is a classic Turkish dish called Imam Bayildi or Eggplant Imam Bayildi (sometimes spelled slightly differently according to the translation). The name of the dish means “the priest has fainted.” Legend has it that the dish was first prepared for a priest, or imam, who swooned with pleasure when he tasted it.
If currants are unavailable, substitute golden raisins or other dried fruit of your choice…each will make a slightly different dish.