GREEK FEAST PART ONE: STUFFED EGGPLANTS + A COOKBOOK REVIEW

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stumbling through local library shelves (after paying off a shameful overdue book fee) i begin looking for new cookbooks to inspire my taste buds. a new cookbook is a beautiful thing, even when it's not technically yours. this time, i found sweet greek  by kathy tsaples. a truly charming book, kathy shares her mother's recipes, with cook's notes about childhood memories, insights into greek culture including when the recipes are traditionally eaten and details about celebrations and festivities. the book features many recipes from kathy's business sweet greek located in the prahran markets here in melbourne. but other than the gorgeous photography, what struck me about this book was that the ingredients were ones we'd all have in our everyday pantries. a classic example of how basic ingredients make beautiful food. local library - you did me good work. 

also can we quickly comment on how, despite our best efforts, our creations never look as good as the ones in the pictures?! the struggle is real. anybody who has secrets to share, let me know! 

find out more about kathy and sweet greek here and stay tuned for another post from her book!


STUFFED EGGPLANTS  

adapted slightly from sweet greek

ingredients

2 eggplants

3 tomatoes, roughly chopped 

1 zucchini, finely sliced 

5 cloves garlic, chopped finely

1 bunch spring onion, finely sliced

1 bunch parsley, chopped

1/2 bunch basil, chopped

3/4 cup olive oil

1 tbsp tomato paste

2 red capsicums (bell peppers)

salt

pepper

 

method

preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. prepare vegetables as specified and wash eggplants. 

chop the tops off the eggplants and slice them length ways down the middle. taking great care using a spoon, remove the flesh from inside the eggplant. finely chop the flesh. place the eggplant shells inside a large baking dish and set aside.

saute the chopped flesh until tender and browned slightly in colour.

in a large bowl, combine tomatoes, zucchini, garlic, spring onion, parsley, basil, tomato paste and 1/2 cup oil. season with salt and pepper to taste, combining the mixture well. add the now cooled sauteed flesh. the mixture should be lovely and fragrant. 

spoon two tablespoonfuls of mixture (thereabouts, depending on the size of your eggplants) into the shells, spreading any extras around the base of the dish. 

cut the capsicums into long strips, about 2-3 cm wide. place into base of baking dish around the eggplants. drizzle remaining 1/4 cup oil over capsicums and shells. crack some more pepper over the vegetables.

reduce oven heat to 180 degrees and bake for 1 hour. if the tops begin to burn, cover with foil and return to oven.  

 


stay tuned for part two coming on saturday! 

- jess

p.s. i didn't add onion although the recipe called for it thanks to my fructose-free mumma. i didn't notice a flavour lacking, but feel free to add one brown onion to yours!