Baked Eggplant with Feta and Bay Leaves
3 medium eggplants
Wash each eggplant and cut in half lengthwise. Score the cut surface with a couple of crisscross strokes. Sprinkle the cut surfaces liberally with sea salt and place in a colander in the sink. Leave for half an hour or up to 2 hours if convenient. To proceed, rinse off the juice that exudes from the eggplants, because it may be bitter. Pat the eggplants dry with paper towels. Turn the oven to 350 degrees.
3 tablespoons sea salt
8 tablespoons olive oil
black pepper to taste
12 ounces feta cheese
6 large ripe tomatoes, (about 2 lbs), peeled
12 small bay leaves
1/2 lemon, juice of
2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint or parsley
Heat 2-3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan. Fry the eggplant halves, cut side down, for 6-7 minutes or until the surface is a rich golden brown. Turn over and continue cooking until the peel side looks wrinkled - about 5-6 minutes. Cook all the eggplant halves this way. (It goes faster if you use two frying pans.) Grease a baking dish with olive oil and place the halves cut side up in it. Season liberally with coarsely ground black pepper. Slice the feta and place the slices on top of the eggplant halves.
Place a sieve over a bowl. Cut the tomatoes in half over the sieve to catch the juice. Remove the seeds into the sieve, rubbing a little to press additional juice through. Coarsely chop the tomatoes. In the frying pan in which you cooked the eggplant, heat a tablespoon of oil. Add the tomatoes and their juice and sauté them for 2-3 minutes. Pour over the eggplant halves, covering the feta with the tomatoes. If they are not very juicy, add enough water to cover the bottom of the dish. Place 2 bay leaves on top of each eggplant. Bake for 25-35 minutes. Serve warm, sprinkled with the lemon juice topped with the chopped mint or parsley.
very good as first course
Anonymous, Location not stated.
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