Eggplant has always been one of my favorite vegetables as you may have noticed from the number of recipes I have posted here, but it is also well honored in the Greek cuisine. So as we still have warm weather here in Athens, I’m trying to hold on to whatever days of summer are left, and that means eggplant dishes.
For this recipe, I knew there existed some sort of eggplant pie; some with yellow cheese and some with meat, but I basically wanted cooked eggplant, tomato and feta wrapped in phyllo, and that is what this is. This is basically a turnover filled with a tasty eggplant mixture that includes tomatoes, onions and garlic sautéed in a bit of olive oil along with crumbled feta.
These make a nice healthy alternative to the typical cheese pies or spinach pies that you often see served as appetizers. They also work well with kids, who will basically eat anything wrapped in phyllo.
And remember try to pick phyllo with the least number of ingredients. The original packaged phyllo should only contain flour, cornstarch and salt.
Mini Eggplant-Feta Cheese Phyllo Turnovers –Melitzanopitakia
- ½ pound eggplants peeled and chopped in small cubes (about 500 grams)
- 1 large onion finely chopped
- 2 minced garlic cloves
- 1 cup finely chopped tomatoes
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil + more for brushing phyllo
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 2-3 tablespoons chopped parsley
- 2 tablespoons bread crumbs
- salt/pepper to taste
- 3 ounces feta (about 90 grams)
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon Greek yogurt
- 1 package phyllo (about 12-13 sheets- you may not use all of them)-make sure it is defrosted if using frozen
- Sesame seeds for sprinkling
1. Preheat the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit (180 Celsius).
2. Heat the oil over moderate heat in a large pan.
3. Add the chopped onion sautéing until soft about 3 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and sauté another 30 seconds.
5. Add the eggplant and sauté for 4-5 minutes.
6. Add the tomato and continue cooking until soft for about another 4-5 minutes. Add parsley, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
7. Once warmed up, remove from heat, empty in a bowl and let the mixture cool down.
8. In another bowl beat the egg, add the crumbled feta and the yogurt and mix well. Add to the eggplant mixture once it is cool. Stir. Add the breadcrumbs and mix. At this point you can place the mixture in the refrigerator and use later (you can leave overnight).
9. When you are ready to make the turnovers take out the phyllo (it should be defrosted). Spread out 1 sheet of phyllo (keep the rest covered), brush a small amount of olive oil. Cut the sheet in 4 strips lengthwise (or 3 for larger pieces).
10. Place on the top corner of each strip about 1 ½ teaspoon of the eggplant mixture. Start folding in a small triangle (see here). Continue until you use the whole mixture. Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
11. Place eggplant pies on a lightly greased pan, brush them with a bit of olive oil and sprinkle with sesame seeds. Bake until golden, about 25 minutes.
Let them cool and enjoy warm or at room temperature.