bulgar, eggplant and tomato napoleons
  • 3 cups Bulgur Wheat
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ teaspoon fresh thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • ½ cup vegetable stock
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • 2 1-pound eggplants
  • ½ cup canola oil
  • 4 large tomatoes, cores removed
  • 1 tablespoon tahini
  • 4 tablespoons garlic, mashed into paste
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Bring 3 cups water to a boil. Place the bulgur wheat in a large mixing bowl and pour the boiling water over it. Allow the bulgur wheat to soak for 1 hour.

Place the olive oil in a large pan and heat over medium-high heat. Add the thyme and rosemary to the oil and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the presoaked bulgur and vegetable stock, lover the heat, and cook for 5 minutes. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper to taste, remove the pan from the heat, and allow to cool.

Wash and remove stems from the eggplants. Cut the eggplants lengthwise into ¼-inch thick slices and, as quickly as possible, rub both sides of each slice with canola oil. Heat a heavy skillet over high heat and quickly cook each slice for 30 seconds on each side. Repeat with all of the slices. Drain the eggplant on kitchen towels.

Cut the tomatoes across the diameter into ¼-inch thick slices and quickly sear on both sides in the skillet over high heat. Remove the tomatoes to a place and allow to cool.

Preheat the oven to 400°F.

In a small bowl, combine the tahini (sesame seed paste), garlic and lemon juice, and season with slat and black pepper. Lay the eggplant slices out on a baking sheet in the order in which they were cut from the vegetable. Spread each slice with a thin coating of the tahini mixture, top with a tomato slice, then a heaping tablespoon of bulgur wheat. On two separate pieces of aluminum foil, reform the eggplant shape by assembling the slices one on top of another, then tightly wrap each "eggplant" in the aluminum foil. Bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes.

Remove the "eggplants" from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Cover each one with a kitchen towel and gently squeeze into shape. Carefully remove the foil, cut very carefully lengthwise so the vegetables are exposed, and serve immediately. 4 main course or 8 side dish servings.