Stuffed Eggplants (Melitzanes Papoutsakia) courtesy of www.mygreekdish.com

Recipe Corner: Two Greek Recipes for Eggplant and Lentils

4123
0

Stuffed Eggplant (Melitzanes Papoutsakia)

This recipe and photos are courtesy of Eli K. Giannopoulos, the gifted food writer and blogger at My Greek Dish. “If you’re looking for a meal that’s packed with good taste and flavor, then here it is. This traditional recipe for Melitzanes Papoutsakia (Greek Stuffed Eggplant) is an easy meal that you can make any night of the week, and it’s great for meal-prep,”says Eli.

“This classic Greek recipe will amaze your guests, it literally means, ‘little slippers’. Papoutsakia are also a popular item at the annual Eat Like A Greek Food Faire in Santa Cruz, CA. The taste and ingredients used are similar to Greek <https://www.mygreekdish.com/recipe/mousakas/> moussaka,” adds Eli. “To prepare this recipe, the eggplants are first seasoned and baked until soft and sweet, then stuffed with a rich tomato-based meat sauce, topped with a cheesy béchamel sauce, and baked to golden perfection. Serve this dish with a Greek salad and crusty bread, and your guests will always remember the first time they tasted it.”

“Kefalotyri or kefalotiri is a traditional cheese made from sheep milk and/or goat’s milk in Greece and Cyprus, dating back to the Byzantine era. It is a hard, light-yellow cheese with a sharp flavor and dry texture. The color varies from yellow to white depending upon the mixture of milk used. Young cheeses are aged for a minimum of two to three months, whereas aged Kefalotyri can be a year old or more with a dry, stronger flavor.”

Ingredients:

5 medium eggplants

Get the Mirror in your inbox:

18 oz. minced beef

1 large red onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 glass Anthos red wine or your favorite red wine*

1 tin (about 14 oz.) chopped tomatoes or tomato juice (passata)**

1 cinnamon stick

A pinch of sugar

1 teaspoon oregano

3.5 oz. grated Kefalotyri or any hard yellow cheese***

Olive oil

Salt and freshly ground pepper

2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley

 

For the béchamel sauce:

3.5 oz. butter

3.5 oz. flour

3 3/4 cup warmed milk

2 egg yolks

A pinch of nutmeg

Salt to taste

 

Preparation:

Note: The eggplants are the star of this dish, so look for eggplants at your local grocery store or farmers market that are firm to the touch and a rich, dark purple. Avoid eggplants that are too soft or speckled with bad spots. Wash thoroughly before preparing this recipe.

Cut the eggplants in two pieces and carve them crosswise (the flesh). Season the eggplants and place them in a colander for about half an hour. Wash them with plenty of water and drain them on some paper towels.

Preheat the oven at about 392°F. Season the eggplants with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Place the eggplants (with the skin facing up) on a baking tray lined with parchment paper. Bake the eggplants for 40 minutes or until softened.

In the meantime, prepare the meat sauce: Peel and chop the onions and garlic. Place a large pan on medium heat, add some olive oil and the onions and sauté until softened. Stir in the garlic and sauté. Turn the heat up, add the minced beef breaking it up with your spoon and sauté. Deglaze with the red wine and wait 1-2 minutes to evaporate. Stir in the canned tomatoes, the cinnamon stick, a pinch of sugar, the oregano, and season. Bring to the boil, turn the heat down and simmer with the lid on for about 30 minutes, until most of the juices have evaporated. At the end, add 1-2 handfuls grated cheese and chopped parsley, and stir. Remove the cinnamon stick.

Prepare the béchamel sauce for the stuffed eggplant:

Use a large pan to melt some butter over low-medium heat. Add the flour whisking continuously to make a paste. Add warmed milk in a steady stream; keep whisking in order to prevent your sauce from getting lumpy. If the sauce still needs to thicken, boil over low heat while continuing to stir. Remove the pan from the stove, stir in the egg yolks and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg. Whisk quickly in order to prevent the eggs from turning into an omelet. Season with salt to taste.

Layer the eggplants at the bottom of a baking pan with the skin down. Remove some of the flesh, to make room for the filling. Sprinkle the eggplants with grated cheese and spoon the meat sauce on top of each piece. Top with the béchamel sauce (or mashed potatoes) and sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake for 20 minutes or until nicely golden colored.

*Anthos is the first Greek wine distributed in grocery markets in Canada. Through passion and experience, they have carefully selected indigenous Greek grape varieties white and red such as Moschophilero, Assyrtiko, Agiorgitiko, Roditis, Savvatiano and Malagouzia blended with world-renowned international varieties such as Chardonnay and Cabernet-Sauvignon to bring forth a unique, exquisite selection from Greece. Anthos wines are produced with vinification methods that express Greece’s famous viticulture and traditional wine making, giving these wines their unique and charming nature. For details, see: https://www.anthoswines.com/

**Italian tomato passata is pure tomato juice with its pulp and nothing else.

***https://www.cheese.com/kefalotyri/#:~:text=Kefalotyri%20or%20kefalotiri%2
0is%20a,the%20mixture%20of%20milk%20used

*Anthos is the first Greek wine distributed in grocery markets in Canada.
Through passion and experience, they have carefully selected indigenous
Greek grape varieties white and red such as Moschophilero, Assyrtiko,
Agiorgitiko, Roditis, Savvatiano and Malagouzia blended with world-renowned
international varieties such as Chardonnay and Cabernet-Sauvignon to bring
forth a unique, exquisite selection from Greece. Anthos wines are produced
with vinification methods that express Greece’s famous viticulture and
traditional wine making, giving these wines their unique and charming
nature. For details, see:
https://www.anthoswines.com/

**Italian tomato passata is pure tomato juice with its pulp and nothing
else.

***https://www.cheese.com/kefalotyri/#:~:text=Kefalotyri%20or%20kefalotiri%2
0is%20a,the%20mixture%20of%20milk%20used

For this recipe, go to:
https://www.mygreekdish.com/recipe/melitzanes-papoutsakia-eggplants-with-mea
t-sauce-and-mashed-potatoes/

Also featured at:
https://www.livelikeagreek.com/recipes/main-courses/papoutsakia-stuffed-zucc
hini

Also featured at:
https://www.anthoswines.com/stuffed-eggplant-melitzanes-papoutsakia/

For recipes from Anthos Wines, see:
https://www.anthoswines.com/recipes/

For Eli’s Traditional Moussaka recipe with eggplant and potatoes, go to:
https://www.mygreekdish.com/recipe/mousakas/

For Eli’s Vegan Moussaka with Lentils, go to:
https://www.mygreekdish.com/recipe/vegan-moussaka-with-lentils/

For more Greek eggplant recipes, see:
https://www.mygreekdish.com/?s=eggplant

Also see:
https://www.livelikeagreek.com/?s=Eli+Giannopoulos

Food from the Santa Cruz Greek Festival (photo courtesy of www.livelikeagreek.com)

Fakes Salata – Lentil Salad With Feta Cheese

Photo courtesy https://www.livelikeagreek.com/

SANTA CRUZ, CA – This recipe and photo are courtesy of Ms. Eli K. Giannopoulos, the gifted food writer. Eli lives in Athens, so one does not get more “Greek”or “authentic” than that. She invites you to take your taste buds to the refreshing flavors of the Mediterranean with every bite of this authentic Greek lentil salad recipe that is featured at the Live Like a Greek Santa Cruz Greek Festival and Cultural Events at the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church website.

“Here’s my super healthy lentil salad with feta cheese and fresh vegetables. Bursting with fresh, vibrant colors and flavors, whether eaten as a snack, side or light vegetarian meal, this recipe never fails to impress,”says Eli. “If you are looking for a twist to your usual lentil salad, go Greek with this recipe and taste all the earthy flavors that characterize Greek cuisine in one dish.”

“To prepare this recipe, the lentils are simmered until cooked, then coated with a homemade light olive oil and red wine vinegar dressing. The secret behind this fragrant dressing is to flavor it with garlic and sweet paprika and toss it together with sweet roasted peppers, black kalamata olives, onions and juicy tomatoes. Finish off with fresh herbs like mint, parsley or dill, and you have a match made in heaven.”

“This salad dressing can include lemon juice, but I always prefer to go with the classic and beloved Greek combination of brown lentils and red wine vinegar. And the special ingredient that holds everything together is nothing else than some salty, creamy crumbled Greek feta cheese, which is a one of my beloved ingredients in all types of Greek recipes, fried, baked or used as a stuffing,” says Eli.

Ingredients:

For the salad:

14 oz. brown lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 bay leaf

2-3 peppers (red, orange, yellow), roasted and sliced

9 oz. feta cheese, crumbled (9 oz.)

10 cherry tomatoes, cut in half or 1 juicy tomato, cut in cubes

1 red onion, chopped

A handful fresh parsley (or dill), chopped

A handful fresh mint, chopped

10 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced

Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the dressing:

6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

6 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 clove of garlic, minced

A pinch of sweet paprika

 

Preparation:

Place the lentils in a colander and rinse them thoroughly under running water. Drain and place them in a large pot. Cover the lentils with about 2 inches of cold water, season with salt, add the bay leaf and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for about 20-25 minutes. The lentils should be cooked, but still retain a slight tooth. Keep in mind that different varieties of lentils cook at different times, so have a taste after 15 minutes and be careful not to overcook them. Remove bay leaf.

In the meantime prepare the vegetables. You can use the peppers raw, cut into little cubes, but roasting the peppers until slightly soft, will add extra flavor to the salad. To roast the peppers, cut them in half crosswise and place on a baking tray, lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with a little olive oil and season with salt. Bake in preheated oven at 400°F for about 20 minutes, or until softened. Cool, then slice the peppers.

To prepare the dressing, place all the ingredients in a small mixing bowl and whisk to combine.

When the lentils are cooked, drain them in a colander and place under cold running water to stop the cooking process. Once lentils are cool, place them in a large salad bowl and toss with dressing. Add the chopped onion, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese, olives and roasted peppers (sliced) and toss. Just before serving, add the fresh herbs and toss.
Serves 6-8.

SOURCE: Photo and recipe courtesy of Eli Giannopoulos, http://www.mygreekdish.com/recipe/greek-lentil-salad-recipe-with-feta-chees
e/

This salad is featured at the Live Like A Greek Festival and Cultural Events
website in Santa Cruz, CA:
https://www.livelikeagreek.com/cook-like-a-greek/salads-and-dressings

Also find it at:
https://www.mygreekdish.com/recipe/greek-lentil-salad-recipe-with-feta-chees
e/

For Eli’s Traditional Greek Feta Cheese recipes, see:
https://www.mygreekdish.com/category/collections/traditional-greek-feta-chee
se-recipes/

For Eli’s Greek Lentil Soup recipe, see:
https://www.mygreekdish.com/recipe/lentil-soup-fakes-soupa/

Voted the
<https://www.livelikeagreek.com/greek-life/news/santa-cruz-greek-festival-wi
ns-award
> BEST STREET FESTIVAL and
<http://goodtimes.sc/cover-stories/best-santa-cruz-county-2019-food-drink-2/
> BEST FOOD EVENT by Good Times readers and we couldn’t be more proud.
The first Greeks settled in Santa Cruz in 1913. For a history about Prophet
Elias Greek Orthodox Church, go to:
https://www.propheteliassc.org/about-things-to-know/our-parish-history

Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church
223 Church Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

For information call: (831) 429-6500

Email:  info@propheteliassc.org

https://www.facebook.com/santacruzgreekfestival

https://twitter.com/live_likeagreek

https://www.instagram.com/live_like_a_greek/

https://www.livelikeagreek.com/sc-greek-festival

https://www.livelikeagreek.com/greek-life/news/santa-cruz-greek-festival-win
s-award

Also see: https://www.goodtimes.sc/best-santa-cruz-county-2019-food-drink-2/

Eli is a contributor to Greek Recipes, Recipes for People Affected by
Cancer, Produced and Published by Centre for Rural Health, University of
Tasmania, Launceston Tasmania 7250 in 2020. Go to:
https://www.cancersa.org.au/uploads/recipes/CCTAS_greek-recipes.pdf

Connect at:
https://www.facebook.com/mygreekdish/

https://twitter.com/greekdish?lang=en

https://www.instagram.com/mygreekdish/

https://www.pinterest.co.uk/mygreekdish/

https://www.youtube.com/@Mygreekdish/about

Copyright © 2023 Prophet Elias Church of Santa Cruz. All rights reserved.

 

Get the Mirror-Spectator Weekly in your inbox: