Showing posts with label eggplant. Show all posts
Showing posts with label eggplant. Show all posts

Melitzanosalata-Roasted Eggplant Spread

Roasted eggplant in the oven, then peeled and smashed into a spread.
This is an excellent appetizer for dinner parties but it’s also great to have as a side salad during Lent. My mother used to put sliced tomatoes in this dish and we would have it as a salad. The roasted process can also be done in the bbq. Enjoy!

Ingredients (Makes 14 servings appr. 3 oz each or 2.5 tbsp.)
2 eggplants
2 tbsp. chopped shallots
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. crushed garlic

Directions
Wash and pat dry the eggplants. Prick with the fork and place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Roast in a 425° F oven for one hour till soft and looks shriveled up. Let them cool. Peel the eggplants and place in a dish. Smash them with a fork. Add the shallots, parsley, 1 ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, salt and crushed garlic. Blend together. Drizzle with the remaining extra virgin olive oil. Serve with pita bread or crackers.

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 2.917 oz (82.7g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 38
Calories from Fat 19
Total Fat 2.1g
Saturated Fat 0.3g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 45mg
Potassium 187mg
Total Carbohydrates 4.9g
Dietary Fiber 2.8g

The eggplant out of the oven

The eggplant peeled.  Cut off the stem before smashing


The final product.  Enjoy!





Grilled Vegetables in Balsamic vinaigrette

Here is a nice side dish for the summer.  Serve along any type of grilled meat.  

Makes 8 servings (approx. 7 oz each serving)

4 cups eggplant
3 cups squash
2 cups zucchini
2 cups red onion
1 cup parsley
3/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dill
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

Wash the vegetables, and peel the skin into stripes.  Cut them into 2" pieces.  Place them in a large pan.  Wash and chop the parsley and the dill.  Toss with the rest of the veggies and marinate them with the balsamic vinegar and olive oil. Refrigerate. When ready to grill, put them in aluminum foil boats and grill for about 20 min till veggies are tender. 

Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1 serving (182.4 g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 237
Calories from Fat 194
Total Fat 21.6g
Saturated Fat 2.9g
Trans Fat 0.0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 162mg
Total Carbohydrates 11.2g
Dietary Fiber 3.9g
Sugars 3.5g
Protein 2.9g


Marinated in the balsamic vinegraitte
Wrapped in foil ready for the grill
After they are grilled.  

Enjoy!





Ground Turkey Meatballs


Fried meatballs, French fries, fried banana peppers and even fried zucchini and fried eggplant were typical Saturday dinner foods while I was growing up in Greece. Saturday was the day that my mother used to do all the groceries (which is still very common there; everything is closed on Sundays in Greece, even now). Her day was packed from early in the morning till around 2:00 in the afternoon. She had to go to the baker for fresh bread to last till Monday; the butcher for meat to have for the weekend, the grocer to get milk and condiments, and the market for veggies. By the time she was all done it was time for everyone to gather for the mid- afternoon meal which was around 3:00-4:00 in the afternoon.

I used to go to school on Saturdays too. School there was 6 days – not 5 as it is here. (I am not sure, but I think now it is only 5 days). So when I‘d come home from school, my task was to help my mother with the food preparation and cooking. I used to love Saturday afternoons. All of us gathered in the house, no matter what the weather. Since these types of foods were mostly cooked in the summer, I remember the hot summer days, with all the doors and windows open, listening to the cicadas while most people were taking their afternoon siesta. The quietness of the summer heat, that you did not only feel but could hear… and yet our house was lively with conversation and recapping the week’s events. I loved those Saturdays and still remember them and cherish them. 

As for the meatball recipe, it is my mother’s recipe. She never used a cookbook or followed a recipe. She would just whip them up, and voila, we had tasty meatballs, that were practically gone by the time we all sat down to eat. And then, she would make more. The only difference with this recipe is that I use ground turkey instead of ground beef. I find ground turkey healthier and lighter on the stomach than ground beef. 

Enjoy!


Ground Turkey meatballs
Makes about 29-30 meatballs (about 1.5 oz each)

½ cup grated onion

¼ tsp crushed garlic

1.5 lbs ground turkey

1 cup dried bread crumbs

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper
½ tsp dried oregano
 
½ cup of olive oil for frying

Peel and wash the onion. With a cheese grater, grate the onion and set aside. Crush the garlic in a garlic press. Set aside. In a bowl, mix together the ground turkey, the crushed garlic, grated onion, the bread crumbs, the salt, pepper and oregano. Mix well together till all the ingredients are completely incorporated. Shape into 2” meatballs. In a frying pan, heat the ½ cup of olive oil, but not burning hot. Add the meatballs one at a time and fry till golden brown. You can omit this step and instead, place the meatballs in a cookie sheet and bake them in a preheated oven at 400° F for about ½ hour. Remove from the oven. 

You can either have the meatballs as appetizers or you can incorporate them in the marinara sauce, on my previous post, and serve over hot spaghetti. Take about 4 cups of the marinara sauce, add the meatballs, bring to a slow simmer till heated through, and remove from heat.


Nutrition Facts
Serving Size 1.129 oz (32g)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 97
Calories from Fat 59
Total Fat 6.5g
Saturated Fat 1.3g
Cholesterol 23mg
Sodium 90mg
Total Carbohydrates 2.8g
Dietary Fiber 0.2g
Sugars 0.3g
Protein 6.7g

 






Eggplant and Penne with Bechamel Sauce - Greek Style

This is my version of moussaka.  Instead of layering the eggplant with the meat sauce, I decided to do a vegetarian version.  I took the eggplant and made a tomato base sauce with it.  Instead of the eggplant as the base of this dish (the layering), I used penne pasta.  Covered it with the bechamel sauce and mozzarella cheese and baked it in the oven.  It came out delicious.  

This could be quite an intimidating dish to make for the novice cook.  It's not that difficult, but one needs to be organized.  You can start by having all the ingredients on hand, before you even begin to make this dish.  Once all the ingredients are ready, you start making it without any difficulty following the instructions.  This dish takes me about two hours to make from start to finish.  An hour to prepare the sauce and assemble and an hour in the oven.  But I do have a couple of the elements on my stove burning at the same time.  While the sauce is simmering I boil the pasta.  Once the pasta is done and the sauce is almost there, I drain the pasta and begin on the bechamel sauce.  I pay full attention to the bechamel sauce.  I want it to be perfect without any lumps.  In the meantime, the sauce is off the hot stove and the pasta has drained well.  When the bechamel sauce is done, I begin the assembly.  And from there it's just baking it in the oven... and the one thing that all of us don't like to do, is washing and cleaning up all the pots and pans.  In the end, though, you have a wonderfully tasting good dish.  Serve it with a romaine lettuce salad, or a spinach salad.  it actually tastes good the next day too and packs well as lunch for work or school.  Just reheat in the microwave.    


Enjoy!!!   


Eggplant and Penne with Bechamel Sauce Greek Style         

Eight (8) servings (approximately 13 oz/per serving)

½ cup olive oil + 1/3 cup olive oil for the tomato sauce
½ cup chopped onion
1 tsp chopped garlic
4 cups diced eggplant
½ cup parsley
2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
2 tsp salt
1 tsp ground pepper
1 14.5 oz box of multi grain penne

Peel the eggplant, in stripes (1).  Rinse under cold water, pat it dry and dice it.  In a heavy saucepan, over high heat, add the ½ cup of olive oil.  Add the chopped onion and chopped garlic.  Sauté, until transparent.  Add the diced eggplant.  The eggplant will absorb all the oil.  Sauté until the eggplant is moistened with the oil (look at the picture below)  



Add the fresh-diced tomatoes, the chopped parsley, the canned diced tomatoes, the tomato sauce, and the extra 1/3 cup of olive oil.  Add the salt and pepper.  Bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer until the eggplant is tender but not mushy (approximately 30-40 minutes) (See picture below).  Remove from heat. 



In the meantime, bring a big pot of water to a boil.  Add salt, if you prefer in the water (2), and then add the pasta (penne).  Cook according to the package directions.  When cooked, remove from heat, drain and rinse under cold water, if you added salt.  The rinsing will rinse the extra salt off the pasta but without leaving it bland.  Set aside.

Bechamel Sauce (White Sauce)
4 tbsp butter
4 tbsp flour
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (I buy the part skim milk/low moisture mozzarella)

In a small saucepan over medium high heat, melt the 4 tbsp. butter.  Add the 4 tbsp. flour stirring constantly.  Gradually add the 2 cups of milk stirring constantly with a whisk.  Lower the heat to low and continue cooking and stirring to avoid any lumps (3).  Continue cooking over low heat until the sauce thickens.  Remove from heat.  While still hot, add the 1 cup shredded mozzarella, and continue stirring with the whisk until the mozzarella melts and the sauce becomes velvety smooth.  Set aside. 
The Bechamel Sauce

The assembly
Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 
In a 13x9 (4) pan, layer half the pasta, then the eggplant/tomato sauce and then the rest of the pasta.  
The penne pasta layered with the eggplant tomato sauce

Pour the béchamel sauce on top, covering all the pasta. 


Bake in the oven for about one hour and a half or until it’s bubbly and the top golden brown.  Wait to cool a bit before serving. 
 Baked, out of the oven.  


Serve when cool.

Notes:

(1) When I peel an eggplant I don’t peel all the skin away.  I will peel it in stripes.  I will cut the stem first, then I will peel it lengthwise; leaving about half an inch of skin, peel another half inch, and so on.   
(2) Adding salt when boiling pasta.  I usually add 1 tsp of salt when I boil the pasta.  This way there is some flavor in the pasta.  Afterwards I rinse it in cold water.  Some of the salt will rinse off, but the flavor of the salt will stay with the pasta.  If you try to add salt after the pasta is cooked, it will not flavor it.  This is on individual tastes.
(3) If by any chance you get any lumps on the béchamel sauce, take a fine mesh strainer and pour the sauce through it, to another pot, while the strainer holds back any lumps.  Return to heat, and continue cooking and stirring, till it’s velvety smooth.  
(4)  The pan measurements are inside the pan.
(5) The nutrition facts below include the béchamel sauce.

Nutrition Facts (5)
Serving Size                                         1serving (355.9 g-approximately 13 oz)
Amount Per Serving
            Calories                                               563
Calories from Fat                                              307                              % Daily Value
Total Fat                                                           34.1g                           52%
Saturated Fat                                                   9.4g                             47%
Trans Fat                                                          0.0g
Cholesterol                                                       28mg                           9%
Sodium                                                             1009mg                       42%
Total Carbohydrates                                         58.1g                           19%
Dietary Fiber                                                     6.4g                             26%
Sugars                                                             9.1g
Protein                                                             12.8g