Eggplant, Bulgur, and Tomato Casserole with Yogurt Topping

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 small or 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 3 14.5 ounce cans chopped tomatoes in juice or crushed tomatoes in purée
  • Salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon sweet paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 large eggplant (1 1/2 to 1 3/4 pounds)
  • 1 cup coarse bulgur
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Greek yogurt
  • 2 ounces (about 1/2 cup) freshly grated Parmesan

Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium heat and add the onion. Cook, stirring, until onion is tender, about 5 minutes, and add the garlic. Cook, stirring, until fragrant, about a minute, and add the tomatoes, salt to taste, pepper, sugar, cinnamon, paprika and allspice.

Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook until the tomatoes are bubbling. Stir together, turn the heat back to medium-low, partly cover and cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have cooked down and the sauce is thick and fragrant, 25 to 30 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Remove from the heat.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut the eggplant in lengthwise slices. Sprinkle slices with salt and let sit for 15 to 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the bulgur. Bring 2 cups water with salt to taste to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the bulgur, and when the water comes back to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer 15 to 20 minutes, until all of the water has been absorbed. Remove from the heat, place a clean dish towel over the pan and cover with the lid. Let the bulgur sit while you roast the eggplant.

Rinse the eggplant slices and pat dry. Line baking sheets with foil and brush the foil with remaining olive oil. Lay the eggplant slices on the foil, brush lightly with oil and place in the hot oven. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, until eggplant is beginning to brown, switching the baking sheets halfway through. Remove from the oven and fold the aluminum up over the eggplant slices so that they continue to steam and soften in the foil envelope as they cool completely. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Oil a 3-quart baking dish. Spread a small amount of tomato sauce on the bottom, and spoon in half of the bulgur in an even layer. Cover the bulgur with eggplant slices and spread about half the remaining tomato sauce over the eggplant. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of Parmesan over the tomato sauce. Repeat the layers, skipping Parmesan on the second layer.

Beat together the eggs, yogurt and 2 tablespoons of the remaining Parmesan. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Spoon over the top in an even layer and sprinkle with the remaining Parmesan. Place in the oven and bake 30 to 40 minutes, until golden. Remove from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes or longer before serving.

Serves 6. From NY Times

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