My previous post left me on a quest to find a stuffed eggplant recipe. While searching the interwebs, I came across a vegan blog that had an interesting recipe involving cheese and a white sauce. The original blog, What Do I Know?, posted a recipe for Greek Stuffed Eggplant. Apparently feta cheese makes it Greek. I like feta cheese, so I decided to try it.
First I gathered all the ingredients. I adapted the recipe to what I had on hand, and cut some of the amounts for 2 small eggplants.
2 small eggplants/aubergines
1 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup chopped tomatoes
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1 teaspoon dried basil, or to taste
1 teaspoon dried oregano, or to taste
¼ teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
¼ teaspoon salt, or to taste
1½ cup bread crumbs, plain or italian
1 cup crumbled feta cheese (I used garlic and herb flavored feta)
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons chopped parsley, for garnish
Note: If you don’t have dried basil and oregano, substitute italian seasoning. It has a few more spices and cuts out an extra measuring step.
Now, I will go step by step and show you how simple these yummy eggplants can be.
① Scoop out the insides of the eggplant to within 1/4 inch of the edges. (Score with a sharp paring knife, then scoop out with a spoon.) Set eggplant shells aside, and chop the inside.
② Start sauteing the onion in the olive oil over medium heat in a large frying pan. You’ll need to add the other ingredients later, so make it a large pan. I used my handy dandy tupperware handy chopper to keep the tears to a minimum.
③ When onions are soft, about 10 minutes, add garlic and chopped eggplant, and more olive oil if needed (the eggplant will soak it up). Continue to saute for several more minutes, until the eggplant is cooked.
④ Add tomato, cinnamon, basil and oregano to the mixture. I used fresh garden tomatoes that I coarsely chopped. No need to worry about perfect pieces, it will all get mashed together anyway.
⑤ Remove from heat and stir in bread crumbs, and salt and pepper, to taste. I also took time to taste the mixture and added more cinnamon and basil to taste.
⑥ Salt the inside of the eggplant shells and then fill halfway with mixture. Then, layer feta cheese, more filling, and top with more feta. Do this for all 4 shells.
⑦ When you are finished layering all 4 halves, place them in an oven proof dish and bake in a 350ºF oven for 35 minutes. While it is baking prepare the bechamel sauce.
To make the bechamel sauce, you will need:
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
dash of nutmeg, cinnamon, and mace
⑧ Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour, stirring until combined. Slowly pour in milk, stirring constantly. Continue to stir until thickened, about 5-7 minutes. Add spices while stirring.
When the eggplant is done, garnish with parsley and drizzle with sauce. They turned out awesomely rich and incredibly tasty. I wish you could have smelled my kitchen. It was so spicy and aromatic.
Well it was all very worth the effort. Check out the results. Yummers. It was so rich and delectable…oh my. If you want to try out my Greek Stuffed Eggplant recipe, add it to you planner! Don’t forget to comment if you like it! Happy cooking!