Eggplant Pilaf and Apple “Baklava”

These recipes come from the delectable Turkish feast I helped prepare for one of our cook nights at Slide Ranch. Together with homemade hummus (garbanzos, tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, paprika, salt and pepper blended together in a food processor to taste) and a big green salad, definitely a meal to remember. Particularly after I announced to raucous applause and laughter that we had “something in the oven.” And just what was in the oven? These baked apples, topped with baklava filling, provide an indulgent alternative (quick and gluten-free!) to the traditional Turkish delicacy.

Made this pilaf a few time since I got home, and certainly will be cooking it up again as soon as the first of next summer’s eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers come back in season! Since I originally prepared this for 20 people, I have adjusted the proportions as best I could to serve 3-4.

Eggplant Pilaf

1 cup quinoa

1 cup chopped eggplant

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 red pepper, chopped

A couple handfuls of chopped nuts

A handful of chopped dates (or raisins)

1 tomato, diced

Minced parsley and/or mint

Roast eggplant at 375ºF for 20-25 minutes. In the bottom of a saucepan, saute garlic, nuts, and peppers in oil, then add dried fruit. Then add quinoa, fry for a few minutes, then add water, bring to a boil, and simmer gently, covered. Fluff with a fork and let rest 10 minutes. Then mix in the roasted eggplant. Just before serving, mix in the tomato and parsley and/or mint. Enjoy!

Apple “Baklava”

Baklava Filling

1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 pinch cinnamon and cloves

1 teaspoon honey

1/4 teaspoon lemon juice

Chopped nuts

Bring sugar, water, and spices to a boil and simmer for 2-3 minutes to form a syrup. Then mix in honey, lemon juice, and nuts.

Slice apples in half, from stem to base, and scoop out seeds. Place face side down on a baking sheet and bake at 350ºF for about 30 minutes, or until tender. Let cool enough to handle. Flip them cut side up and fill cavity with baklava filling. Yum!

This entry was posted in Breads and Baked Goods, Salads and Pilafs. Bookmark the permalink.

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