Last year I visited my friend Laurie in Florida for a long weekend of recipe testing her collection of recipes for my book. That is when I was introduced to Schloof, a traditional Suryani recipe served as an appetizer or side dish. To be honest, I didn't think the usual combination of basic ingredients found in the many Mediterranean dishes - like eggplant, tomatoes, and parsley could create a startling new eating experience, but boy oh boy was I ever wrong!
Although Laurie is American, I like to brag when saying she has mastered the art of Mediterranean cuisine better than any Mediterranean restaurant I have been to. Laurie's husband and his family are Assyrian and settled in the United States from Midyat, Turkey over 40 years ago. Laurie, being a knowledgeable wiz on all things food, (visit her website here) learned to make many Assyrian and Turkish recipes from her Mother-in-law and the family. I am thrilled to say, Schloof is one of them and even more ecstatic that she is willing to share the recipe with you and me.
Schloof is one of those dishes you just can't stop eating. It's made with layers of sauteed eggplant, tomatoes cooked in garlic and oil, a sprinkle of Anaheim peppers, and topped with fragrant parsley. Once it sits for an hour, the flavors infuse together to create a symphony of flavors, unlike any other dish you have eaten. It's hard to explain why these ingredients taste uniquely delicious in this dish, but they do. Maybe that's why I have a hard time stopping myself from eating the entire dish all by myself. Think I'm exaggerating? Take a look at the photo below of the half eating Schloof. Yep, that was me. Guilty and proud. Since learning to make this traditional Suryani classic last year, I have made it at least 5 times and plan to make it again soon. It's just one of those recipes worth enjoying again and again.
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