Eggplant and Pepper Casserole
This is a really delicious and colorful vegetarian dish that can be made ahead of time that tastes even better the following day! It can be enjoyed warm or at room temperature, served on its own or with pasta, chicken, meat or fish of choice.
I always associate it with summer but it can, of course, be made all year round. Although I normally make this dish with eggplants I have also made it with zucchini or a mixture both zucchini and eggplants . . . or if you prefer . . . even green beans.
2 large eggplants*
2 red peppers
2 green Peppers
6 scallion or spring onions
1 clove garlic, crushed (optional)
Fresh basil to taste
4 large tomatoes, grated with juice or 1 can (400g) crushed plum tomatoes
Salt and pepper to taste
Garnish: Fresh basil leaves
Clean all vegetables. Slice eggplants into 3cm (1.5 inch slices) and dip each slice, both sides, into olive oil. Arrange on a baking sheet and place under the grill to cook, turning slices once.
While grilling eggplants, slice the scallions and cut tops of peppers. Remove seeds from peppers and cut into large pieces. In a medium size skillet, sauté sliced scallions in olive oil together with the chopped peppers. Add the crushed garlic and freshly chopped basil, season with salt and pepper and cook for a couple of minutes, shaking the pan once or twice to ensure even cooking. Set aside.
Take out a round oven proof dish and arrange grilled eggplant pieces in alternating layers with the pepper/scallion mixture; starting and ending with the eggplants. Pour the grated tomatoes with juice evenly over the top and drizzle with a bit of extra virgin olive oil.
Place dish in a pre-heated oven, 175 C (375F) for about 20 minutes.
Garnish with fresh basil leaves and serve warm, or if preferred at room temperature, with crusty whole wheat bread and fresh goat cheese.
Yield: 2 – 4 servings
This is a great dish to do ahead of time as it tastes even better the following day! If cooking ahead of time, make sure to cool completely before storing dish in the refrigerator, covered with plastic wrap, until ready to use.
I like to use one regular eggplant and one Tsakonian eggplant* (where and when available) in this dish as using the two different types of eggplant will give you a more subtle taste, a combination of sweet and bitter; a perfect complement to the colorful and tasty peppers.
In Greece I normally use the long oval peppers for this recipe; the red ones named Florinis (referring to Florina, their region of origin) and the green oval peppers Kerato (horn), but if they are not available or in season, use any bell peppers of your choice.
© KaritasM – July 2022