Baked Eggplant (Melitzanes) Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan makes a wonderful vegetarian side dish. Rather than fry the eggplant, Eva prefers to bake them in the oven with a little olive oil for about 20 minutes. It is delicious and a much healthier alternative to the traditional recipe.

To prepare the eggplant:
4 eggplants (Eva uses the long slender eggplant, but you could use the larger type if you prefer)
Salt
1/3 cup of olive oil
About 1 cup of mozzarella cheese (shredded)
About ½ a cup of parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon of breadcrumbs

To prepare the sauce:
1 small onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves of garlic (finely chopped)
3 tablespoons of olive oil
Salt and pepper
1 cup of tomato juice
½ teaspoon of basil

Clean the eggplants well and cut them in ¼ inch slices. Salt the sliced eggplant and allow the bitter juices to sweat out. Wash the eggplant under running water and drain them well. Place the sliced eggplants on a pan and brush each piece with olive oil. Bake the eggplant in the oven for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.

Over medium-high heat, sauté the onion and garlic with 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 cup of tomato juice. Turn the heat to low and allow the sauce to thicken (about 10 minutes). When the sauce is just about finished add the basil.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

To assemble the dish, begin by putting a small amount of sauce on the bottom of your pan. Spread a layer of eggplants on the sauce, and add another small spoonful of sauce. Add a handful of mozzarella cheese and sprinkle some parmesan cheese. Add another small spoonful of sauce on the cheese. Repeat until you have used up all of the eggplant slices. Add the remaining tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.

Bake the dish in the oven for about 20 minutes.

Allow the dish to cool for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!

Green Beans w/ Potatoes, Wine, Tomatos & Onions (Fasolakia me Patates)

Green Beans with Potatoes or ‘Fasolakia me Patates’ in Greek is a vegetarian village classic Eva (and other Greeks) grew up with. As with many of Eva’s dishes, this recipe requires only a few simple ingredients and makes a great meal or side dish. Keep in mind the length of time the beans need to cook depends on not only your beans, but also how soft (or crunchy) you want them, so be sure to sample them as this delicious dish is cooking.

Flat green beans
2 medium sized potatoes
1 cup crushed tomato or tomato juice
1 medium sized onion
1/3 cup of water
1/2 cup of olive oil
1 table spoon of salt
Pinch of pepper
1/2 cup of white wine

Cut the edges off the green beans and slice each down the middle leaving the ends still connected. If your green beans are narrow, there’s no need to slit them down the middle. In a separate bowl, peel the potatoes and chop them into fours. Chop the onion and fill a cup with either crushed tomato or tomato juice.

Preheat a large pot on the oven at a high temperature. Once sufficiently heated add 1/2 cup of olive oil. Allow the oil to heat up and add the chopped onion. Saute the onions slowly till they receive a light brown color. Once ready, add the beans to the pot. Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium and allow the beans to cook for roughly 5 minutes.

At this point add a table spoon of salt, a pinch of pepper and 1/3 cup of water. The water is necessary to allow the beans to precook before we add the tomato juice. Cover the pot and allow the beans to cook for approximately 5 to 10 minutes. During this time stir the beans periodically until the water has completely evaporated.

At this point add 1/2 cup of white wine, the potatoes and the crushed tomato (or tomato juice). Work the ingredients together and cover the pot. Turn the heat on the stove to low and cook the beans till they become soft. This should take approximately 20 minutes. That said, periodically come back stir the contents and test to see how the beans are coming along. When the dish is ready all the juice should have evaporated with only the oil remaining.

Enjoy!