Photo (taken by yours truly) of Fried Eggplant with Garlic and Parsley Dressing from my cookbook, An Edible Mosaic: Middle Eastern Fare with Extraordinary Flair.
Of all the recipes in my cookbook, this one has the most personal story attached to it.
The first time I had this dish was in Zabadani, a rural area north of Damascus in Syria. My husband and I were staying with his family in their country home for a few days, and another family had come to visit. Of course a feast was in order.
My mother-in-law (whose name is Sahar, but I call her Mom in Arabic) and the other ladies were bustling around all day making a whole slew of different dishes; out of everything, this dish was by far my favorite. It was at that moment that my mother-in-law realized that my husband and I truly were perfect for each other. You see, my hubby hates eggplant in any form and my mother-in-law has always hoped he’d marry someone who loves it!
As I sat there ignoring almost every other dish on the table and gushing about this simple eggplant dish, she sat there beaming. Reliving that memory in my mind is what makes this dish so meaningful for me.
I know it might not look like anything special, but as Sahar says, this dish is a classic example of Syrian food at its finest. Just a couple simple, fresh ingredients come together to create something that is so much greater than the sum of its parts.
Head over to check out my recipe for Fried Eggplant with Garlic and Parsley Dressing (Batinjan Mekleh) on Evelyne’s blog, Cheap Ethnic Eatz. (Thank you so much for the lovely feature, Ev!) And P.S., she’s giving away a copy of my cookbook, be sure to enter the giveaway!
I wanted to share a few photos I took while in Zabadani so you can get a feel for the setting when I first had this dish. Like all of Syria, this area is breathtaking…
Please keep Syria and her people in your thoughts and prayers!
Thank you. I have found the recipe. I actually borrowed the book from the Library and although I may consider buying my own copy, supporting the library and their purchase of a copy will do for now. We recommended it to other librarians so the book is currently checked out, thus trying to refer back online.
Your link to the recipe does not work. The other blog has, naturally, published a lot of other entries that have nothing to do with eggplants or parsley sauce. I am very disappointed since I saw this one in the book and wanted to try it, but can’t locate it at all now. Please don’t put links to external sites that don’t work, better to put the actual recipe where people expect it to be
Thank you so much for your interest in my recipe! That is very flattering.
Just a couple things: 1) The link actually did work when I first published this post nearly two years ago; of course I would never publish a non-working link intentionally. However, as I’m sure you’re aware, I do not control the content of other people’s blogs and/or whether or not they change their link formats, thus resulting in broken links. 2) I just did a quick search on the Cheap Ethnic Eatz blog and my fried eggplant recipe was the first one to pop up (so naturally I updated the URL in my post). 3) If you want to try the recipe that much, you could always purchase the book – that is, in fact, where people expect the actual recipe to be.
I’m glad I could help!
Eggplants are always in my refrigerator waiting for inspiration ,but always ready for another moussaka. I would welcome some new recipes ,Thanks Francie
Lavina H says
The pictures are beautiful, and I wish more people liked eggplant. Personally I absolutely it and will definitely be trying it!
Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella says
HI Faith! I hope you are ok? I’ve been seeing the news reports and it all looks very scary!
Lorraine, Thank you so much for your sweet note! Luckily, we aren’t in the storm’s direct path so it hasn’t been too bad…mostly a LOT of hard rain, but we still have power. (Strangely, my parents who live 5 minutes away lost power though!) Keeping all who are in the wake of the storm in my thoughts and prayers.
Thank you again for your lovely note! xo
Aww I love this sweet story attached to this dish! It makes me want to make it even more than I already did the first time I flipped through!
I love hearing about how you came to learn to cook Middle Eastern food Faith – what a great story and I’m sure this has helped build a strong relationship with your mom-in-law. I have to give this eggplant recipe a try – I am a big fan of eggplant.
This is a beautiful story Faith and thanks for sharing it with us! I am going to visit Evelyne’s blog and see the recipe! Have a wonderful day!
Lori Lynn says
Hi Faith ~ Love the photo, and the aubergine cloth complements the green sauce, eggplant looks so absolutely tasty.
I’m sure it’s a recipe I will need to make.
Sending heartfelt wishes for peace, freedom, and liberty to the people of Syria.
I enjoyed the story and photos! I entered the giveaway!
Jenn and Seth says
such a lovely post! and this dish sounds wonderful!
Oh that photo is killing me, the eggplants look perfectly cooked! I so wish I could still eat eggplant… But I might just try this with zucchini instead. The idea is irresistible.
A mouthwatering dish and a sweet story! I also love that you call your mother-in-law “Mom” in Arabic – she certainly found a wonderful daughter-in-law! Beautiful pictures, too :)
Have a great week, Faith!
I can just picture the scene as you describe it-you’re such a good writer. How wonderful to be able to please a mother-in-law simply by being pleased yourself. She sounds like a great woman. :) I have tried many ways to like eggplant and finally discovered I enjoy it fried and in baba ganoush so I think this will be my next experiment. I have a feeling your cookbook and I are going to be best friends. :)
Beautiful photos of a land so sadly torn apart: all prayers have for long headed taht way . . . Yes, do love the eggplant . . .
Asiya @ Chocolate and Chillies says
Love recipes that have such a wonderful story attached to it! Looks delicious..my husband loves eggplant, I’m not a big fan but I will definitely have to make this for him!
You obviously won your MIL over with no trouble. Does Mike eat Aubergine now or does he still hate it? We both love it. Have a good week Diane
What a great story! And a DELICIOUS dish! I recently discovered my true love for eggplant. An amazing and versatile vegetable
[email protected] says
Thank you for the opportunity Faith to showcase you great cookbook. I definitely picked this recipe based on your poignant intro. Great pics of your stay there.
Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar says
What a nice story! This looks so lovely and I can’t wait to check out the recipe!
Beautiful post,Faith! The dish looks delicious….I am going to check your post and enter the giveaway :)Ready for Sandy?
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
Beautiful! That is such a special dish – has Mike ever come around? Will he eat eggplant now?
Joan Nova says
Poignant story about your mother-in-law and your wish for Syria. I will check out recipe on Ev’s blog.
Heather @girlichef says
Memories like this make the absolute best kinds of dishes. I’ve marked this one to make in my book. And those pictures are just beautiful!
A lovely story. This dish is mouthwatering. Will have to wait summer 2013 to test your recipe…