Happy Sunday everyone! I am so very excited today to talk to you about a cookbook that is about to hit the shelves in November 2012. I was very lucky to get an advanced copy by the author, my dear friend and fellow food blogger Faith of the blog An Edible Mosaic. Faith’s cookbook is an absolutely wonderful collection of traditional Middle Eastern dishes. I was so honored to receive a copy of the book because I think the message Faith wants to convey is very close to my blog’s purpose: it is for food lovers, restaurant goers and home cooks who would like to explore a more exotic palate in their plate.
I have been lucky to have made friends over the last 20 years with people from various parts of the Middle East so I have been exposed to classic Lebanese, Syrian, Iranian, Palestinian and so forth dishes. The cuisine has nothing to do with your local Shish Taouk sandwich shop. Faith did not grow up accustomed to these dishes either, not until she met her now husband Mike who is Middle Eastern. She learned to cook these fabulous dishes during the first 6 months of her marriage in her mother-in-law’s kitchen. Faith brought back this treasure of recipes to North America.
In this cookbook you will find such classics as hummus, kebabs and pistachio drenched sweets. But you will discover a whole plethora of delectable flavors which I hope you will try like tabbouleh, saffron rice, stuffed squash with yogurt sauce, beautiful lamb dishes and scented milk puddings. The recipe I prepared is an unusual choice for me: Fried Eggplant with Garlic and Parsley Dressing. I have never been a fan unless it has been cooked and drenched in tomato sauce but made the effort to turn into a now acquired taste. Faith’s husband, Mike, also hates eggplants. His mother always hoped he would one day marry a girl who liked this vegetable. When Faith tasted and fell in love with this recipe she also got her mother-in-law’s blessing. So it just goes to show you never know what can come out of keeping an open mind and trying new foods!
Fried Eggplant with Garlic and Parsley Dressing (BATINJAN MEKLEH)
Recipe courtesy of An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair by Faith Gorsky (Tuttle Publishing; Nov. 2012); reprinted with permission.
Serves 4 to 6
Preparation Time: 10 minutes, plus 30 minutes for the eggplant to drain
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
1 large or 2 small globe eggplants (about 2 lb/900 g)
2 teaspoons salt
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon water
4 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 bunch fresh parsley, minced
Oil, for shallow frying
- Fully or partially peel the eggplant if desired. (To partially peel it, peel one strip off down the length of the vegetable, then leave the next strip in place and peel the next strip off, and so on). Slice into 1/4 to 1/2 inch (6 mm to 1.25 cm) thick slices (lengthwise or crosswise is ﬁne if you’re using baby eggplant, but if you’re using a large eggplant slice it crosswise).
- Sprinkle the salt on both sides of each slice and transfer to a colander; put the colander in the sink and let it sit for 30 minutes. Rinse the eggplant under cold running water, then gently wring out any excess water and pat dry.
- Combine the vinegar, water, garlic, and parsley in a small bowl and set aside.
- Coat the bottom of a large skillet over moderately high heat with oil. Fry the eggplant in batches (so the pan isn’t overcrowded) until golden brown, about 2 to 4 minutes per side. (You can add more oil to the pan if necessary.) Transfer the cooked eggplant to a paper towel-lined plate to drain any excess oil.
- Serve the eggplant warm or at room temperature, along with the dressing to drizzle on top.
The eggplant harvest was plentiful this year! Thanks!
Absolutely delicious! Love the photos. Thanks for the giveaway.
I just recently started gawking at Edible Mosaic..pinning so many amazing dishes from it..and this one is no exception! I love eggplant and am always looking for new ways to cook it. Unfortunately..so many close to me hate it..so I end up eating it all LOL
This cookbooks looks fabulous…and right up my culinary adventuring family’s alley!
The cookbook sounds great. We are all about this kind of food. The eggplant alone is a good reason to try it, but the cover recipe looks good too!
This cookbook looks great, I would love to try it out!
I love eggplant! I’m middle eastern, so we use eggplant in many dishes, but I have yet to try out this one! Can’t wait.
Looks absolutely delicious! Don’t know anything about middle east cuisine, but I love Faith’s cooking a lot!
Looks absolutely DELICIOUS, thanks great giveaway!
I’m excited for Faith’s book, too. This recipe looks delicious! So flavorful.
This recipe looks killer! I’m sure the rest of the book is just as lovely…
Yes Evelyne…I always enjoy Faith posts…and this book sure will be a hit. Thanks for sharing the eggplant recipe as I am always looking for ways to cook it.
Have a wonderful week ahead 🙂
love eggplant, and with that sauce, i bet it’s over the top! can’t wait to make this and check out the book 🙂
That was a sweet story about your MIL. This eggplant looks delicious. 🙂
Ooh nice sneak peek into Faith’s book. Love all the dishes, It looks wonderful!
Oh, this looks spectacular! What a yummy way to eat eggplant! And thanks for the opportunity to win Faith’s wonderful cookbook.
PS…hope you feel better soon!
I love her recipes!
Wonderful recipe — also would love to have that fabulous cookbook!
Mouthwatering! What a gorgeous book.
@ Lois: Hazelnut oil, Sesame oil, Olive oil…just keep it below the smoking point!
I love eggplant and have bee enjoying learning how to make Middle Eastern dishes from Faith’s new cookbook. I have to give this one a try too – looks fabulous!
Thank you for the inspiration to cook a yummy eggplant dish. What kind of oil is best to use? I have wanted to cook more middle east dishes for a long time, and the cookbook would be most welcome.
I can’t wait for the book to circulate so I can get my hands on it! This eggplant dish looks exactly what I was hoping to have for lunch today!
Sounds absolutely delicious. Love the balance of vinegar in the sauce to complement the oil-fried eggplants. Awesome dish.
I love Faith’s dishes and would love to win her cookbook! Thank you for the opportunity!
I would love to add this cookbook to my collection! This dish looks wonderful!
just found your blog and cant wait to explore it. this dish looks delicious!
I lived in the Middle East for many years and have been following your blog avidly ever since I discovered it. You do a beautiful job in every way–great recipes, beautiful photos. Your book is on my Amazon Wish LIst!
Wonderful! I can never decide if I should peel the eggplant or not, now I have the solution, just peel it in strips, the best of two ways. I will give this recipe a try. I am an eggplant lover.
I am a big fan of Faith and have been religiously reading her posts ever since I subscribed to her many, many months ago. It is also because of her that I have stumbled across your blog and you also have lovely beautiful writing and recipes 🙂
I have liked your facebook page, and shared this on twitter as well.
Thank you so much for this giveaway, I know this book is amazing because I know how beautiful Faith writes and I’ve followed some of her recipes before.
I never ate eggplant dishes growing up but I absolutely fell in love with it when my husband’s job moved us to China. After tasting a few simple dishes I was sold and have been looking for more ways to enjoy this under-utilized vegetable ever since! Consider this my entry to win what looks to be an amazing cookbook. Win or lose, thanks for the recipe!
I can’t wait to get my copy of Faith’s book! I’m so proud of her! 😀 Good luck to everyone!
I love eggplant and this looks like a fantastically simple way to highlight such an unappreciated vegetable. Thank you for sharing!
Eggplant to you, Aubergine to me! My favourite recipe for Eggplant is actually a Syrian one. My hubby loves Baba Ghanouj, and it is made extra delicious at this time of year with the addition of a couple of spoons of pomegranate seeds as a garnish. The colour adds interest to the dish, and the added sweetness and “bite” make this a real favourite with everybody. I live in the Middle-East and really appreciate Faith’s modern healthy take on classic dishes. I would love to win the book!
I love eggplant! It’s purple, my favorite color – what’s not to love! I can’t wait to try this variation! Sounds wonderful. I would love to explore the whole cookbook. Thanks!
Love love love eggplant! My husband doesn’t like it- what is up with theses men? I would so love this cookbook, looks amazing
Personally have always loved eggplant: it was the first vegetable I used to make a fully vegetarian meal and have collected recipes since. This one will be definitely added to the collection and avidly tried! Love also that Lorraine Elliott has written the preface: her blog, Not Quite Nigella, led me to get interested in blogging worldwide 🙂 !
I’ll pass on the contest, I’m not a huge fan of Middle Eastern food but best of luck to everyone entering.
That looks delicious! Everything I’ve seen so far from this book looks awesome – I’d love the chance to try more!
That looks delicious!
The eggplant looks fantastic. Have you ever tried Israeli food?
Can’t wait to try this dish!
This looks delicious..I’m not a big fan of eggplant but I think I will definitely have to give this a try!
Cooking P-A-S-S-I-O-N-A-T-E-L-Y EXCITES me!
LOVE sharing Middle Eastern foods with friends and family!
Your book cover inspires me to do!
Would LOVE to win this book, make your recipes, photograph and review!
Shared on Facebook = Joanne T Ferguson
Shared on Twitter = Joanne T Ferguson @mickeydonwunder
PS Lorraine Elliot is one of my fave people too! (NotQuiteNigella)
Congrats re your passion now presented in a cookbook ! WHOO HOO!
I have been highly anticipating the arrival of Faith’s cookbook! We love Middle Eastern cuisine and certainly even more so, after having visited the Middle East two years ago and eaten the authentic stuff. 🙂
Oh, how I would love this book!
Thanks for the chance…
I would love to win her book! I would love to try new cuisines after a move to a new city 🙂
Would love a copy of Faith’s book and love Middle Eastern cuisine.
Looks absolutely DELICIOUS!
Eggplant is yummy, I’ll have to try this out!
This book looks delicious!
Recipe is delicious and easy–the perfect combination. Thanks for sharing. Can’t wait to see your take on hummus and kebabs.
I LOVE eggplant – I bet this is delicious!
Love this meatless dish! wonderful flavors! I would love Faith’s book 😉
I love Mideastern food and its special focus on vegetables. Love the color you achieved on the eggplant.
Eggplant is something I wasn’t accustomed to until I met my husband, but now it is one of my favorite things. We don’t make it at home nearly enough, but this recipe seems too simple and delicious not to try!
This looks fantastic. I read the story behind this dish on Faith’s blog–I can’t wait to make this and I hope I win 🙂
Thank you so, so much for the lovely feature, Ev! I’m so happy you’re enjoying the book…and you’re right, you never know what could happen when you try something new! xo
Oh what a wonderful book, Evelyn! I have been to a few Middle Eastern restaurants here in Korea and have greatly appreciated their food. If I don’t win this cookbook by the way is it open to readers from other countries?) I will definitely buy a copy. Your eggplant dish inspired me… so delicious!!