Eggplant Papoutsakia Recipe
SERVES: PREP: COOK: PRINT CONVERSIONS

I have already mentioned how much we love Greek food in our house, so it may not come as a surprise to you that Tessa Kiros’ latest book – Food From Many Greek Kitchens, is a new favourite.

The recipes are very traditional and authentic – straight from a Yia Yia’s kitchen, into my own.  I live in a greek neighbourhood and the divine cooking smells that waft from houses, particularly when a lamb spit is roasting in the backyard, are just sensational. When I cook from this book I can’t help but feel that I’m contributing to the tasty neighbourhood cooking aromas.

Tessa’s papoutsakia is basically the same as moussaka, but prepared differently. For those of you that have tried making moussaka before, you’ll agree that it is a time consuming feat and a labour of love. If you have some bolognese sauce already on hand (like many of us mums do) you could use that in replacement of the meat sauce prepared in this recipe, just make sure you add the eggplant to it as instructed.

Serves 8
Recipe adapted from Tessa Kiros’ – Food From Many Greek Kitchens

4 eggplant (similar size)
1/2 cup olive oil
1 large red onion, chopped
400g minced beef
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1/2 cup red wine
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
4 tbs flat leaf parsley, chopped

Bechamel
40g butter
40g plain flour
300ml milk, heated
a big pinch of nutmeg
3 tbs of grated haloumi cheese

Cut the eggplants in half length ways, sprinkle the cut sides with salt and leave them upside-down in a colander for half an hour or so to drain away any bitter juices.

Drizzle some olive oil into a large non-stick frying pan and when hot, add half the eggplant halves. Fry until deep golden and soft on both sides. Remove to a platter and fry the remaining eggplant halves. When cooled scoop out the flesh (very gently) using a sharp edged spoon, leaving a 6-8mm border. Chop the flesh and put aside.

Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the fry pan and saute the onion until golden. Add the mince and fry until browned. Add the garlic, cook for a moment more, then add the wine and let it simmer for a minute or two. Add 1 tin of tomatoes and the parsley, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring a couple of times, for about 20 minutes or until thickened. Add the chopped eggplant and simmer for another 10 – 12 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Preheat the oven to 180C. To make the bechamel, melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over low heat and stir in the flour. Whisk the milk in gradually to ensure no lumps. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and a little pepper. Whisk until thick.

Empty the remaining tin of tomatoes over the bottom of a lasagna or roasting dish and add a little salt. Line up the eggplant shells on top, cut side up, and sprinkle with a little sea salt.

Divide the mince mixture among them. Dollop 3 tablespoons of bechamel on each, scatter with the haloumi and pour 1/2 cup water around them. Bake until roasty and golden on top, about 30 minutes.

You'll Need
Method

3 Responses to Eggplant Papoutsakia Recipe

  1. yum yum yum i can smell the melted cheese !!!!!!!!

  2. Mish Delish says:

    Was yum, wish I had leftovers but unfortunately I don't.

  3. Dinetonite says:

    That looks deelishuss! Will definitely be serving egg plant at my next dinner party.

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