Side Dishes/Appetizers

Stuffed Eggplant-Greece

Eggplant, how do I love thee?

 Let me count my three favorite ways…

-Moussaka

-Baba ghanoush

-Eggplant Parmesan

Except now there’s a fourth…stuffed eggplant. It’s just like moussaka but different. And the best part? You’re bound to have leftover filling which means more eggplant goodness to go around or if you’re like me, you’ll just keep it for yourself to eat.

Stuffed Eggplant

recipe courtesy of Lesley Mackley’s The Book of Greek Cooking

3 eggplants

Salt and pepper

Extra-virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 pound ground beef or lamb

2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 tablespoon oregano

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 cup dry white wine

CHEESE SAUCE

2 tablespoons butter

3/4 cup all-purpose flour

1 1/4 cups milk

3/4 cup grated kefalotiri cheese (3 ounces). You can substitute  Parmesan or Romano cheese

Cut eggplants lengthwise, from stem, sprinkle with salt and let drain 1 hour. In a saucepan, heat oil. Add onion and cook until soft. Add lamb and stir until brown (once brown drain off fat if needed). Add tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, cinnamon, salt, pepper, wine, and 1/4 cup water. Cover and simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove lid and cook until mixture is dry, stirring frequently. Pat eggplants dry with paper towels. Scoop out pulp. Chop half and mix with meat mixture (reserve other half for another dish). 

Preheat oven to 350F. To make the sauce, in a saucepan, melt butter. Stir in flour and cook 2 minutes, stirring, over low heat. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk. Return to heat. Stir until thick and smooth. Simmer 5 minutes, stirring. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in two-thirds of cheese. 

Fill each eggplant shell two-thirds full of meat mixture. Place in a casserole dish. Top with sauce. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake 20 minutes or until cheese is lightly browned. 

Makes 6 servings

 

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