Greek food is definitely on top of my list, where the emphasis on a typical meal is very much tailored to the use of fresh, seasonal produce, combined with a blend of a leisurely, sociable flair that is often enjoyed in the open air.
Last Saturday I spent some time at our local farmers market and splurged on some veggies, to include an all-time favorite–Eggplants. Tonight I tried a new recipe that was a surefire winner with the hubby and myself. Although not the ideal dish if you are on a time crunch, the end result was definitely worth the wait…
- 4 large, long, thin eggplants
- 4 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tbsp extra
- 1 large onion, sliced thinly
- 2 large garlic cloves, chopped finely
- 1 green bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced thinly
- 2 canned tomatoes in juice, drained
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp dried thyme
- 4 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus extra for garnish (It’s okay to substitute with dried parsley–which is what I did)
- Salt and pepper
- 2 tbsp lemon juice (I used 1/2 sliced fresh lemon)
- Cut eggplants in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh, leaving a shell to hold the stuffing. Coarsely chop the scooped-out flesh.
- Heat the olive oil in a pa. Add onions, garlic and green pepper and cook for approximately 10-15 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.
- Add the eggplant flesh, tomatoes, the oregano, thyme, parsley, salt and pepper. Simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the mixture has reduced and slightly thickened.
- Spoon the stuffing into the eggplant shells and place them side by side in a shallow oven-proof dish.
- Pour additional oil around the eggplants; add the lemon juice and enough water to come halfway up the sides of the eggplants. Cover the dish with foil and cook in a 300 degree F/150 degree C for 1 hour, until tender.
- To serve, lift out the eggplants carefully with a slotted spoon (I opted to use an angled, stainless steel spatula because of its length); discard the liquid and garnish with chopped parsley (or pinch of dried one)
This is a flavorful vegetarian dish, especially if you enjoy eggplants as much as I do! Χαρά τρώει! (Happy Eats!)–gcc