Eggplant Mediterranean Style
During a recent visit to Greece and its islands on our Bike, Walk and Cruise our, I rediscovered, among other things, the great flavor of eggplant with Mediterranean spices. Back in Italy I tried to reproduce the dishes I had eaten in Greece, but I had to use some different ingredients, so that the outcome was an eclectic but tasty dish of Mediterranean flavors. The following is the recipe that I used. You can make your own variations, according to what you have available.
For about four people:
Two or three medium eggplants
Two or three medium-sized, ripe tomatoes or several cherry tomatoes
One cup and a half of feta or mozzarella cheese, grated or cut in very small pieces (optional)
A few spoonfuls of olive oil
About two teaspoons each of fresh thyme, oregano, marjoram OR one teaspoon each of dried spices.
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice the eggplant length-wise so as to have three or four slices from each eggplant. Sprinkle salt and leave in a strainer for at least half an hour. Wash the slices, heat a spoonful of olive oil and cook the eggplant in a skillet so the sices are soft, but not mushy. Slice the tomatoes or cut in half the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few minutes with another dribble of olive oil, so they are barely soft. Put the eggplant in a baking dish, sprinkle the cheese on top of each slice (if used), put the tomatoes on top of the cheese or the eggplant, sprinkle the spices, salt and pepper and a dribble of olive oil. Bake at medium heat for 15-20 minutes. Eat warm, lukewarm or cold!
Kali orexi (good appetite)!
Paola Malpezzi Price (Cofounder of ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours)