Stuffed aubergines

Stuffed aubergines

Melitzannes papoutsakia

By
From
Hazana
Serves
4
Photographer
Mowie Kay

Melitzanes papoutsakia (literally ‘aubergine slippers’) are enjoyed by Greeks and Jews alike. The Greek version usually includes a little minced meat, whereas the Jewish version is strictly vegetarian, since the mixing of meat and milk in the same dish is strictly forbidden by Jewish dietary laws.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 medium aubergines, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
handful finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 medium tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and grated
4 tablespoons dried breadcrumbs
50g freshly grated parmesan or kefalotyri cheese
salt
freshly ground black pepper

For the béchamel sauce

Quantity Ingredient
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
225g hot milk
1 egg yolk

Method

  1. Place the aubergine halves in a large saucepan of lightly salted boiling water, cover and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool slightly. Gently scoop out the flesh, leaving a shell about 3mm thick. Chop the flesh coarsely. Arrange the shells side by side in a well oiled baking dish.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan and cook the onion over a moderate heat until soˆftened. Add the parsley and oregano and cook for another 2 minutes. Add the chopped aubergine flesh and mix well. Cover and cook over a gentle heat for 10 minutes or until tender and starting to turn golden, stirring from time to time. Add the tomatoes and continue to cook, uncovered, for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs and half of the grated cheese. Season with salt and pepper, then fill the aubergine shells with the mixture.
  3. To make the béchamel sauce, melt the butter in a heavy saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 minute without browning, stirring constantly. Pour in a little hot milk and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon over a moderate heat until the mixture is lump-free. Add the rest of the hot milk, a little at a time, until all incorporated and the sauce is smooth and creamy. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Add the egg yolk and season with salt and pepper. Mix well. Spoon a little béchamel over each of the stuŽffed aubergines and sprinkle the remaining grated cheese on top. Bake in a preheated 180°C oven for 30 minutes or until bubbling and golden.
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