According to the recipe of our friend Jeni
300 g tomatoes
100 g of celeriac
2-3 cloves of garlic
1 bay leaf
Black pepper and salt
Remove the green part of the eggplant stems, keeping the stem itself. Peel 4 strips of 15 mm lengthwise on all 4 sides of the eggplants. Run a knife 1 cm deep along each of these strips.
Fry the eggplants on all sides in a drizzle of olive oil, covering the pan with a splash-proof lid (or as our friend Jeni does, with newspaper). Personally, I prefer not to fry them, but to bake them in the oven. I wrap them individually in aluminum foil and bake them at 200°C until they appear soft through the package.
Then arrange the eggplants tightly in a deep baking dish. Brush interior and exterior with oil.
Finely chop the onions, carrots and celeriac and cook them in oil and a little water. When the onion softens, add the carrots, celery, tomatoes and garlic. Season with the bay leaf, parsley and black pepper. Salt to taste. Cook over low heat, covered, 10-15 minutes.
Transform the cooled eggplants into boats by pressing into the flesh with your fingers and pushing it to the sides. Fill each eggplant with the stuffing, insisting several times to tuck as much as possible. If any mixture remains, distribute it around the eggplants.
Cook the Imam Bayildi at 200°C until golden (30-40 minutes). If there is no cooking juice, wet the bottom with a little water. Towards the end of cooking, overlap tomato slices on each eggplant and cook for 15-20 minutes.
The dish is delicious both hot and cold. And it gets better every time you heat it up.