This is a recipe adapted from what I had at somebody's grandmother's house. A simple, yet easy and comforting thing to make, that happens to be great for Meatless Mondays, or just to use up those eggplants that were sitting around and that half-opened package of feta. You can improvise and add in spices of your choice (a bit of red pepper flakes for some heat, a bit of oregano or thyme if you want to go that way, anything that makes you go oooh!). It's flexible, it smells amazing and you'll definitely be making it again.
Don't skimp on the feta, though! You need that salty, lively pop to cut through the richness and umami-filled goodness of the eggplant and tomato sauce. —iizari
- Prep time 15 minutes
- Cook time 40 minutes
- Serves 2
medium ripe tomatoes
feta, crumbled or cubed
small-medium yellow onion, diced
clove garlic (optional)
salt & freshly cracked pepper
olive oil, divided
- Begin by peeling and slicing the eggplants into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick, lengthwise. You can leave them unpeeled, but I find that sometimes the peel may remain tough even after cooking. Salt them on both sides and set aside. Preheat oven to 375°F while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
- Dice the onion into small pieces and set aside. If you're using it, crush the garlic and mince it. In a food processor, process the tomatoes cut into quarters with the tomato passata until a runny paste forms. Adjust the amount of tomato puree to taste (if you want more intense tomato flavor, add in a nug of tomato paste, optional).
- In a skillet, heat some olive oil on medium heat, reserving two-three tablespoons to make the sauce later. Fry the eggplant slices in batches until golden brown, about 3 minutes per side. Leave aside on a plate until all eggplant slices are fried, adding in more oil as necessary (eggplant tends to soak up the oil in the pan, so it may need more as you fry all slices).
- Once all eggplant slices are fried and out of the pan, add in the skillet the remaining tablespoons of olive oil and sweat the diced onions on medium-high heat, until soft and translucent and beginning to slightly take on color, about 5 minutes. Add in the minced garlic and fry until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add in the tomato sauce made and season with salt and pepper (and spices if you want), to taste. Turn heat down to medium low and simmer until reduced, about 10 minutes.
- In a small baking dish (I used a glass lunch container, about 6x5in, oven safe) layer a spoonful or two of the tomato sauce, then cooked eggplant slices, more tomato sauce, feta crumbles, more eggplant, more sauce, more feta until all ingredients are used up, ending with feta crumbles. Think of it as building a lasagna, kind of.
- Bake in the preheated oven for about 10-12 minutes until bubbly and starting to set. When done, cool for a bit and serve over toasted bread.