I made them again tonight for my friend Eireni (who actually reads this :D).
So as to share the wealth, I thought I’d document my making of them, so the viewer, if they so chose, might recreate them.
Step one, of course, is the vegetables. I started with one medium sized eggplant:
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in, ideally, a big cast iron skillet. Put in your eggplant, sliced lengthwise, and weigh down with a heavy pot. Brown and tenderize on one side for a few minutes, then flip and do the same on the other.
The other veg of choice for today was green peppers.
Broiled and peeled. You don’t have to get every shred of skin off, but broiling makes the finished produce more tender, and less skin means you can focus more on the pepper-y flavor. This is on the recommendation of Rosemary Barron, Greek cookbook author extraordinaire. This is not her recipe (it’s a lot more labor intensive) but I am using some of her techniques.
Now for the filling.
I filled the eggplants and peppers with two different fillings, cause I’m ambitious that way, but here is my base filling:
Which I made by sautéing half an onion in a few teaspoons of olive oil, then adding cooked rice (I went for the brown rice). For this quantity of filling, I used half a cup of uncooked rice. I seasoned with salt, pepper, and dried oregano.
So here was my eggplant filling:
I took the meaty pulp out of the eggplant, attempting to pitch the seeds (you won’t be able to get them all; it’s okay) and diced that. I mixed the filling base with the eggplant pulp and about a tablespoon of feta chunks.
Here was my green pepper filling;
Filling base, mixed with one seeded and diced tomato and 3/4 cup of white beans, along with more pepper (no salt necessary- canned beans!)
crammed in neatly arranged in the baking dish, ready to go in the oven.
I topped the eggplant with another tablespoon of feta crumbles
And the peppers with whole wheat bread crumbs, which I made by crushing an Akmak cracker.
Everyone got a final drizzle of olive oil on top, and then I poured a few tablespoons of water in the bottom of the pan, to let everything steam.
I baked for 10 minutes at 400*, then reduced to 325* and baked for another 40 minutes. After that, you have to let the vegetables sit for at least twenty minutes, or they’ll fall apart on you.
The final product:
Less colorful, considerably more delicious!
Wonderful wonderful crusty tops! The eggplant filling, to me, was especially delicious: smoky velvety eggplant, salty creamy feta. Wondrous!
Eireni and I each had an eggplant half and a pepper, and then we split another one. In other words, I’ll have LEFTOVERS tomorrow! :D
Dessert continued on the Mediterranean-ish theme.
Yes, I’m obsessed with froyo. But buying one’s own is much, *MUCH* more affordable. And this was delicious!