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Imam Bayaldi (Stuffed Eggplant)

Scott Phillips

Servings: 8 as a side dish; 4 as a main course

The name of this famous Turkish dish implies it was so good that “the imam fainted.” I hope you won’t keel over, but you’re sure to delight in the contrast of colors, flavors, and textures in this hearty dish. Enjoy it as a main course with rice or as a side dish for grilled fare.


  • 4 small Italian eggplants (about 2 lb.)
  • 10 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 2-1/2 lb. tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large sweet onion, diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1 medium green bell pepper, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped cauliflower
  • 1 Tbs. finely chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley; more for garnish
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh oregano or 1/2 tsp. dried Aleppo pepper or crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 oz. (about 3/4 cup) crumbled feta; more for garnish

Nutritional Information

  • Calories (kcal) : 240
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 170
  • Fat (g): 7
  • Saturated Fat (g): 6
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 0
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 0.5
  • Cholesterol (mg): 5
  • Sodium (mg): 95
  • Carbohydrates (g): 19
  • Fiber (g): 2
  • Protein (g): 2


  • Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat the oven to 375°F.
  • Halve each eggplant lengthwise and place cut side up on a large rimmed baking sheet. Season the cut sides with salt and brush very generously with 4 Tbs. of the oil. Flip the eggplant over and roast, cut side down, until very soft, about 35 minutes. Set aside until cool enough to handle.
  • Meanwhile, grate the cut sides of the tomatoes on the large holes of a box grater. Discard the skins. Drain the pulp in a fine-mesh sieve, stirring occasionally, until most of their liquid has strained through, about 20 minutes.
  • Heat 3 Tbs. of the oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the pepper, cauliflower, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables have softened somewhat, another 5 minutes. Remove from the heat. Stir in the tomato pulp, parsley, and oregano, and season to taste with pepper and salt. Stir in the feta.
  • Using a spatula, flip the eggplant over. With a slotted spoon, divide the filling among the eggplant, using the spoon to gently push the filling into the flesh. Drizzle with the remaining 3 Tbs. oil and bake until hot, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle with more crumbled feta and parsley, and serve.


Rate or Review

Reviews (5 reviews)

  • Victoria20 | 12/12/2019

    This was delicious! I used canned tomatoes for convenience.

  • MrsKitty | 04/05/2015

    Made this for dinner with grilled lamb chops and the shredded romaine & cucumber salad. Very good. Admittedly I varied the recipe slightly. No small eggplants at my local grocery so I just used the common large eggplants and cut them into quarters before baking. Since tomato's are not in season and frankly, I did not feel like grating tomatoes, I used a can of petite diced tomatoes and cooked it briefly with the onion, green pepper, etc. Both my husband and daughter gave it great reviews.

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