Greek Cheesy Eggplant and Red Pepper Casserole

July 10, 2017

Eggplants are the quintessential summer vegetable and Greek cuisine has a large variety of recipes using them. We eat them roasted, stewed, fried and even as a sweet and in this case as an eggplant casserole combined with peppers and cheese. There is even a eggplant festival here in Greece, in the Peloponnesian town of Leonidio which is the eggplant capital of Greece.

Favorites include roasted eggplant with plenty of olive oil, topped with tomato and feta and of course the eggplant dip melitzanosalata. This particular recipe makes use of eggplants along with peppers and onion with the addition of cheese for complete meal. It is easy and require no frying or much prep work.

I used Greek red florina peppers but nay type of sweet red pepper will do. For the cheese I used kefalograviera, which is the cheese usually used for saganaki, it is a hard Greek cheese made from sheep’s milk, ideally this would be the best to use. However if you cannot find it, Asiago would be an acceptable substitute. I also used some finely grated aged mitzithra, if you do not have it you can use Romano grated cheese.

I liked this recipe with the cheese, but you could also roast it without the cheese for a vegan version.

A word about nightshade vegetables
Eggplant along with tomatoes, peppers and potatoes belong to a group of vegetables called nightshade vegetables that belong to the Solanaceae family. Lately on the internet (and elsewhere) it has been said that they may be related to inflammation. However, there is no scientific evidence for this, so I would suggest that you continue eating eggplant, tomatoes etc., they are afterall rich in antioxidants and fiber, and an important part of the Mediterranean diet, which is considered by the scientific community, one of the healthiest diets that exist.

Greek Cheesy Eggplant and Red Pepper Casserole

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 55 minutes

Category: entree,

Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Vegetarian

Yield: 4-6

Greek Cheesy Eggplant and Red Pepper Casserole

Ingredients

  • 1 pound eggplant sliced thinly (thin long eggplant preferably)
  • 1 pound red peppers sliced
  • 1 small onion sliced
  • 1-2 minced garlic cloves
  • 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 3 ounces finely grated aged mitzithra (if not available use Romano cheese)
  • 5 ounces grated kafalograviera (if not available use Asiago)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit (200 C).
  2. Wash the eggplant and slice about ¼ inch thick, place in colander and salt them, set aside.
  3. Slice the peppers in thin rings, set aside.
  4. Slice onion in thin rings and add to the peppers.
  5. Rinse and dry the eggplant and place the eggplant, peppers, onions, garlic and olive oil in large bowl and toss.
  6. In a small bowl mix the tomato paste with 3 tablespoons of water and mix. Add this to the vegetables and mix well until all vegetables are coated with tomato paste and olive oil.
  7. In a casserole dish place half of the vegetables in one layer, sprinkle with half of the mitzithra and half of the kefalograviera. Repeat for a second layer.
  8. Cover the casserole dish with aluminum foil and bake for about 40 minutes.
  9. Remove the aluminum foil and bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese bubbles.
  10. This is enjoyed warm or cold and goes well with Greek yogurt.

Photos by Elena Paravantes@ All Rights Reserved

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6 Comments

  • Reply Judy Matusky July 11, 2017 at 2:44 pm

    Yes! Just in time for our garden eggplant! Thanks!

    • Reply Elena July 12, 2017 at 4:05 pm

      Wonderful, you are so lucky!

  • Reply Cheryl Garcia July 11, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    Thanks for your postings, I enjoy your recipes. Many people may not notice small errors in content and I can most often ignore them. But when there are errors that affect the use of recipes or instructions, you may suffer the loss of readership. For example, the last sentence in first paragraph… ‘no frying are much prep work’…. what exactly do you mean?

  • Reply jean July 11, 2017 at 7:03 pm

    isn’t it obvious? She means ‘no frying or much prep work’

    • Reply Elena July 12, 2017 at 6:29 am

      Thanks Jean,typo corrected

  • Reply Brianna July 14, 2017 at 12:05 am

    I made this tonight for dinner and it was delicious! My husband was a big fan too. I didn’t have access to the authentic cheeses so I used the hard Italian cheeses, as recommended, and added some shredded some feta just for fun. Thanks for a great recipe! Will definitely keep this one handy for summer eggplants!!

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