Monday, 7 July 2014

Imam Bayildi - Middle Eastern inspired aubergine & tomato stew

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imam bayildi (Middle Easter inspired aubergine and tomato stew)

Imam Bayildi - Middle Eastern inspired aubergine & tomato stew

Imam bayildi is one of my favourite vegetable recipes.  A full flavoured but simple dish. Great as a vegetarian main meal served with some fresh white cheese (such as feta) and cous cous or good bread on the side.  It's also a handy recipe when cooking for groups as can be made ahead and served cold.  

Imam Bayildi translates into Turkish as the 'Imam fainted' - one of the stories says that this is because of the amount of olive oil that was added to the original recipe!  Some recipes add up to half a pint of oil, however I have added a bit less to mine - but feel free to add more if you want.  Traditional recipes often stuff the aubergine with the tomato and onion mix, however in my take on the recipe I cook all the ingredients together.  

One of my food heroes is the Claudia Roden, an authority on Middle Eastern cooking.  A Book of Middle Eastern Food is my 'go to' book for simple and tasty recipe inspiration. I would recommend the book highly to anyone interested in Middle Eastern flavours.    

Front Cover
A Book of Middle Eastern Food

Imam Bayildi can also be served as a side dish with roast meat or as part of a large mezze platter or picnic buffet.  This recipe also works well with the aubergines substituted for the same amount of courgettes - perfect for any excess courgettes you may have at the moment.  

I hope you give this a try.  Do you have a favourite aubergine recipe?

recipe by:  Ema at De Tout Coeur Limousin

preparation time:  10 minutes
cooking time:  30-40 minutes
serves:  4 as a side dish with a main meal or more as part of a mezze or buffet


2 large aubergines chopped into chunky dice

1 kg fresh/tinned chopped tomatoes
2 large onions
1 garlic clove
salt and pepper to taste
3-4 bay leaves
bunch of parsley chopped
4 tbs extra virgin olive oil


heat the oil in a pan then add your chopped aubergine, onions, garlic and bay leaves.

season with salt and pepper and cook over a gentle heat for about 10-15 minutes to soften.

add the chopped tomatoes and continue to cook for another 15-20 minutes, or until the sauce is thickened the aubergine and onion are soft.  

take off the heat and add the chopped parsley

serve hot or cold
Bon Appetit!

Say bonjour & visit us at De Tout Coeur Limousin. Creative & wellbeing retreats, holidays & workshops in the heart of rural Limousin, SW France

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Saturday, 5 July 2014

roasted apricots with lemon thyme & rosewater

Food at De Tout Coeur Limousin

Food at De Tout Coeur Limousin
Cooking is a big part of what we do here at De Tout Coeur. I have always loved to cook and am enjoying having the opportunity of sharing what I love to do with others.  There's nothing like enjoying a good meal with friends old and new.  I can't help but be inspired by the seasons and the beautiful produce we have in the Limousin.  The local markets are bustling at this time of year with a huge variety of fruit and vegetables.  

This is a super quick and easy Summer recipe using seasonal fruit.  I used apricots, but any stone fruit would work well in this recipe.  There are some lovely fragrant peaches and nectarines around at the moment. The lemon thyme adds a nice fresh herbal note which complements the perfumed fruit and rosewater.  I love Middle Eastern flavours and recipes - and love to experiment and try out new ideas.  

These apricots are lovely served warm with ice cream or creme fraiche as a dessert but work equally well as a fruit compote topping on yogurt for breakfast. 

Enjoy and let me know how you get on, and please share any of your own favourite seasonal recipes.  Bon appetit!

preparation time:
5-10 minutes

cooking time:
15-20 minutes

1 punnet apricots
2-3 sprigs lemon thyme
2 tsp rosewater
2 tbs sugar/honey (or to taste)

creme fraiche, ice cream or yogurt to serve

  1. preheat oven to 200C or gas 5/6
  2. clean, de-stone and halve the apricots 
  3. put in a roasting tin and toss with all the other ingredients
  4. roast for about 15-20 minutes until soft
  5. serve hot or cold

Friday, 4 July 2014

Explore, Discover & Create at De Tout Coeur Limousin

Bonjour all and happy Friday.  A little video I put together with pictures from the beautiful area around De Tout Coeur.  Including the stunning Lac de Vassiviere and the surrounding forests and countryside of the Millevaches national park.   Wishing you all a fabulous weekend ahead.  We look forward to welcoming you soon.