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Melitzanes Papoutsakia- Greek stuffed Eggplant Recipe

Melitzanes Papoutsakia- Greek stuffed Eggplant Recipe
*Image credit: Dodoni

Melitzanes Papoutsakia (Μελιτζάνες παπουτσάκια) are stuffed eggplants with mince, topped with a rich sauce.

In Greek, ‘melitzanes’ means eggplants and ‘papoutsakia’ means ‘little shoes’. When I was younger, I thought it was extremely funny to be eating ‘little eggplant shoes’.

Eggplants are absolutely delicious and packed with vitamins like vitamin C, K and B6 and an ample amount of potassium, manganese and fibre.

Today, I share a family recipe, which is easy to follow.

My recommendation is to also serve it with Greek salad and some crusty bread!

Ingredients
  • 1kg of large eggplants
  • 500g minced beef
  • Olive oil
  • 1 large red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 glass of red wine
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • 2 ripe tomatoes, grated
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 2-3 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon of oregano
  • 2 tablespoons of chopped parsley
  • grated cheese (parmesan, cheddar, graviera, halloumi, kefalotyri, etc.)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For the sauce:

  • 1/3 of of flour
  • 50g of butter
  • 2 cups of milk (room temperature)
  • salt and pepper to taste
Melitzanes Papoutsakia- Method
  1. Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Scoop out the flesh. Reserve the flesh for filling.  Sprinkle eggplant shells with salt and set aside for approximately 1 hour.
  2. In a saucepan, heat the oil and fry the onion, garlic and mince, until the mince is well browned.
  3. Reduce heat, add wine and cook for 2 minutes.
  4. Add chopped eggplant flesh, tomatoes, parsley, cinnamon stick, bay leaves, salt, pepper and water and allow to simmer for approximately 15 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. Remove cinnamon stick and bay leaves. Add 1-2 handfuls of grated cheese and chopped parsley and stir.
  5. Preheat oven to 200 °C.
  6. Rinse the eggplant shells, pat dry and lightly fry the outside of the eggplant in a little oil.
  7. In the meantime, prepare the sauce. Melt butter in a saucepan, stir in flour and cook on low heat for 2 minutes. Increase heat and add milk, stirring constantly, until sauce begins to boil. Remove the saucepan from the stove.
  8. Fill the eggplant shells with the mince mixture and place them in a casserole dish. Sprinkle the eggplants with grated cheese and spoon the sauce on top of each piece. Top with more grated cheese.
  9. Place the casserole dish in the oven and bake the ‘melitzanes papoutsakia’ for 15-20 minutes, until nicely coloured.
  10. When ready, remove the casserole dish from the oven.
  11. Serve this mouthwatering dish with Greek salad and some crusty bread. Enjoy!

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