Greek Eggplant 'Papoutsakia'
5 large round eggplants
For the Sauce
½ kg Mushrooms
2 tablespoons chopped Parsley
2 Onions finely sliced
2 crushed Garlic cloves
2 Bay leaves
1 cup Vegetable Oil
1 tin chopped Tomatoes
For the Béchamel Sauce
1 litre milk
¾ teacup flour
200g grated Parmesan Cheese (2/3 for the béchamel sauce and the rest to sprinkle on top of the eggplants)
Preparation of the Eggplants
Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise and leave them in salted water for 1 hour.
Remove them from the water, squeeze them and then place them upside down in an oven dish with the vegetable oil.
Bake them in a pre-heated moderate oven for ½ hour.
Remove them and place them without the oil in a clean oven dish facing upwards.
Preparation of the Sauce
Fry the sliced onions lightly in a large pan.
Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute.
Add the mushrooms and continue stirring.
Add the tomatoes and the bay leaves.
Finally, add the chopped parsley.
Keep on the heat until all the liquid has been absorbed and you have a thick sauce.
Preparation of the Béchamel Sauce
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan gently heat the butter until it melts.
Add the flour and stir constantly.
Add half of the milk and continue stirring with a whisk.
When the mixture starts to thicken, add the rest of the milk, stirring all the time.
Once it starts to thicken, lower the temperature to the minimum, add the grated cheese and turn off the heat.
Place 3 tablespoonfuls of the sauce on each of the eggplants and then add 2-3 tablespoonfuls of the béchamel sauce.
Sprinkle the eggplants with the rest of the cheese.
Bake them in a pre-heated moderate oven for ½ hour or until the béchamel has turned a golden colour.
Pairs Well With
The Greek word "papoutsakia" means "little shoes" and this dish has been given that name because of the shape of the eggplants. This is a simple, nutritious dish that is really tasty!