Turkish Stuffed Eggplant (version II)

4 - 6 baby or Japanese eggplants
coarse salt
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
6 - 8 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 small tomatoes, cored and chopped
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Cut a lengthwise slit about 3/4 of the way through the eggplants to within 1/2 inch of each end, forming a pocket.

Sprinkle the inside of the eggplants with salt and let rest slit side down on paper towels for 45 minutes. Rinse and dry the eggplants.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a skillet over moderate heat and sauté the onion until tender but not brown, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the tomatoes, parsley, salt, and pepper.

Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a skillet over moderate heat and sauté the eggplants until golden brown on all sides.

Arrange the eggplants slit side up in a baking dish and fill each with stuffing. Drizzle with the remaining oil and add about 1/2 cup water to the baking dish. Cover tightly and bake in a preheated 350F oven for 1 hour.

Serve warm, chilled, or at room temperature.

Serves 4 to 6.

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