Stuffed Eggplant (Melitzanes Papoutsakia)

Ingredients

Eggplant

  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 pound minced meat (lamb preferred)
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 2 medium tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • Chopped parsley
  • 1 egg, slightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup grated hard Greek cheese
  • 2 tablespoons dry bread crumbs
  • 2 1/4 pounds aubergine (about 12)
  • 1 cup Béchamel Sauce
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce

Bechamel Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • Dash of nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk

Instructions

  1. Eggplant: Brown onions and meat lightly in butter, stirring constantly. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper. cook covered for about 15 minutes.
  2. Remove from heat. Add parsley, egg, 1/4 cup cheese and bread crumbs.
  3. On the 'top' of each aubergine, peel an inch strip from one end to the other and make an incision along strip to within an inch of each end. Place in baking dish and bake in moderate oven (about 350 degrees F) until soft and light brown (about 30-45 minutes). Insert knife blade into incision and stuff with meat mixture.
  4. Bechamel Sauce: Melt butter over low heat; add flour, salt, pepper and nutmeg; stir until well blended. Remove from heat. Gradually stir in milk and return to heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until thick and smooth. Add the egg and remaining cheese to the sauce. Pour about a tablespoon on top of each aubergine. Sprinkle with additional grated cheese and dot with butter. If desired, add tomato sauce to the pan.
  5. Bake in a moderate oven for about 35 minutes.

Serves 6.

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