Thursday, January 5, 2017

Middle Eastern Eggplant Ratatouie

Rich and flavorful, this chunky low calorie Middle Eastern eggplant ratatouille makes a delicious side for a family dinner or an inviting appetizer for your next get together..

I love recipes from Middle Eastern countries like like Turkey, Syria, Egypt, Morocco,and Israel which are famous for their tasty eggplant dishes. This family recipe is a middle Eastern classic that is like a stew- tender, satisfying and easy to make.

The secret to the recipe is roasting , not frying, the eggplant and veggies. Roasting brings out the vegetable's natural sweetness, saves calories, and is easier on the digestion than frying.

This eggplant recipe is my version of one of my mother in laws authentic recipes that she brought with her from the old country. It is so versatile that we enjoy in a variety of ways:

  • Over Baptismal rice or cauliflower rice, 
  • Paired as a side dish with a bean dish, 
  • As a topping for an omelette ( really good) 
  • Or a cold or hot appetizer with crudites or gluten free crackers. 

The best part is that once you make it, you can keep it in the refrigerator and it use as a condiment to enhance any food.

My mother in law insists on using the long and thin Japanese eggplants for this recipe. Although many similar recipes call for the regular full round Italian type eggplant, we think the Japanese variety is more tender and less bitter than the regular eggplants. They are also easier to cut and have fewer seeds than the larger eggplants.

I was reminded of this family favorite when we recently had dinner in a Syrian restaurant. I had not made this recipe in a long time, so as soon as I saw it on the menu- I knew I wanted to order it. In addition, I ordered Tzaziki, majeedara , falafel and a Greek salad. My husband and I shared the Mezze type dishes and felt like we had a feast! Everything was naturally gluten free and vegetarian just the way I like it!

Author: Judee Algazi ( family recipe) @ Gluten Free A-Z Blog
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes roasting, 15 minutes simmering
Serves: 6 for appetizers


3 large Japanese eggplants/quartered and then quartered again
2 large orange or red pepper, cut into eighths
5 cloves of fresh garlic
20 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup of olive oil
1 teaspoon of Trader Joe's " 21 Salute" salt free herbal blend or similar type blend
Himalayan salt to taste
1 can of organic chopped tomatoes ( 15 ounces)
juice of half lime
Optional : red pepper flakes and cumin


Preheat oven to 400 degrees
Toss the chopped eggplant,chopped orange or red peppers, garlic , cherry tomatoes and olive oil  in a large mixing bowl Place the tossed veggies on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper.
Bake at 400 degrees until vegetables are roasted and soft.
In a large skillet , add a can of chopped tomatoes-lime, and the grilled vegetables.
Cook for about 20 minutes stirring frequently. Add optional cumin and red pepper flakes if desired
Serve hot, room temperature, or cold ( side dish, spread on GF crackers, top an omelette, appetizer)