Scott Conant: The Sunday Dinner Table: Scott Conant’s Eggplant Börek

At The Sunday Paper, we want to inspire you to gather at your table—virtually or with friends and family—and open your heart and mind to conversations that will move the needle. After all, the dinner table is where we connect on topics and map out the changes we can all make that’ll really move the needle.


Meet our Sunday Paper Chef: Scott Conant

Learn about his mission: With a career spanning more than 35 years, a portfolio of acclaimed restaurants and an ever-expanding brand, Scott Conant has established himself as one of the world’s leading chefs. He brings an unwavering passion to creating soulful food in a convivial atmosphere. Conant has attracted a global audience for his Food Network appearances, including his long-running role as a judge on Chopped. In addition to his three published three cookbooks, Conant’s new book is Peace, Love, and Pasta.

Our Conversation Starter: This week, Maria’s talking about the time in front of her: How will she make it matter? What is she willing to give up so she has more space for what’s meaningful? She’s also talking about fear—and what it means to get stuff done in the face of fear. What will you talk about?

Scott’s Recipe: Eggplant Börek

Makes 10 squares

  • 6 tablespoons plus ½ cup (90 plus 120 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for greasing the pan
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound (455 g) mild green peppers (such as Anaheim or Cubanelle), seeded and coarsely chopped
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 pounds (1.4 kg) small eggplants, peeled and cut into 1-inch (2.5 cm) cubes
  • 1½ pounds (680 g) plum tomatoes, halved, seeded, and finely chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pint (480 ml) full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 pound (455 g) yufka dough (see headnote)
  • 2 tablespoons nigella sativa (black cumin seeds)

In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat 6 tablespoons (90 ml) of the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Sweat the vegetables for about 10 minutes, stirring constantly. Stir in the eggplant, season again with little bit of salt, let it brown slightly, then add the tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and cook until the eggplant is soft, about 15 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl and let cool slightly.

Preheat the oven to 400°F (205°C) and lightly oil a 9-by-13-inch (23 by 33 cm) glass baking dish. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with the yogurt and remaining ½ cup (120 ml) olive oil.

Start building layers in the baking dish: Place 1 sheet of yufka dough in the bottom of the dish, then generously brush some egg-yogurt mixture on the dough, being sure to thoroughly coat the bottom. (The yufka will drape over the sides of the pan; it’s okay if it tears a little bit.) Add another sheet of yufka, brush with a little more of the egg-yogurt mixture, then add half of the vegetable mixture. Wrap the sides of the top layer of yufka on top of the vegetables, then generously brush with egg-yogurt mixture (you can pour some of the mixture over the top to make sure the yufka is very well coated). Add the rest of the vegetables and fold the remaining sides of yufka over the top. (If you want a more uniform crust on the top, you can add one more sheet of yufka on top, trimming it so it fits perfectly in the baking dish.) Pour the rest of the egg-yogurt mixture over the yufka, brush so that the surface is completely coated, then sprinkle the cumin seeds over the top.

Bake the börek in the preheated oven until it’s golden brown on top and sizzling, about 45 minutes. Let rest for about 20 minutes before cutting into squares. Serve at room temperature.

Recipe from PEACE, LOVE, AND PASTA: SIMPLE AND ELEGANT RECIPES FROM A CHEF’S HOME KITCHEN BY SCOTT CONANT (ABRAMS BOOKS; 2021). Copyright © 2021 by Scott Conant. Used with permission by Abrams. All rights reserved. Recipe photography credit Ken Goodman.

Read more here