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Imam Bayildi is a quintessential Turkish delicacy. It gets its taste from vegetables flavored by pepper and parsley.
Cut the eggplants into halves lengthwise; score the surface, crosswise, leaving shell intact . Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Sauté the eggplant halves in hot oil in a pan until the meat can be scooped out easily with a spoon. Remove from pan.
Add onion, two thirds of the sliced tomatoes, garlic, chopped parsley and scooped out eggplant pieces to oil in skillet and cook several minutes. Season with salt, pepper, sugar and bay leaf (to be removed later).
Finally, stir in the chopped almonds. Stuff eggplant shells with this mixture.
Arrange in a well greased ovenproof dish, cover with the remaining tomato slices and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
Bake in a moderately hot oven (375-400°F or 190-200°C) about 15 minutes.
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