In Greek: μελιτζάνες με φέτα, pronounced meh-leed-ZAH-nes meh FEH-tah
This classic combination of baked eggplant, tomatoes and herbs is enhanced by the addition of feta cheese to create a delicious appetizer, side dish or meatless main dish. A perfect recipe toward the end of summer when the garden is bursting with tomatoes, fresh herbs and eggplant. If you are making this another time of year, choose bright red tomatoes such as those sold on the vine.
You will notice there are not any instructions for salting and rinsing the eggplant. This is recommended to remove the bitterness from the vegetable, which usually comes from the brown seeds in larger eggplants. But, not only are most varieties of eggplant free of bitterness these days, the small ones never really needed salting to begin with. So no need to add that extra step here.
- 2 pounds eggplant (long slender type)
- Olive oil for frying
- 1 pound ripe tomatoes (diced)
- 5 tablespoons fresh basil (chopped)
- 5 cloves garlic (minced)
- Dash sea salt (or to taste)
- Dash freshly ground black pepper
- 1/2 pound feta cheese, crumbled
- Preheat the oven to 350 F (176 C).
- Wash the eggplants and remove stems. Cut lengthwise into 1/2-inch slices. Pour oil into a frying pan up to 1/4 inch and heat over medium heat. Lightly fry eggplant until soft and gently browned.
- Layer the eggplant in the bottom of a baking dish. In a bowl, combine the tomatoes, basil, garlic, and salt and pepper to taste, and spoon the mixture over the eggplant.
- Top with feta cheese, and bake for 45 minutes.
- Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.