Monday, September 19, 2011

Greek Eggplant Feta Casserole

This is a Greeked up version of my Eggplant Parmesan Casserole, using feta, oregano, and lemon zest instead of the more typical Italian seasonings.

1/4 cup olive oil (3 Tbsp + 1 Tbsp)
6-8 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
1 Tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried lemon zest (or 1 tsp fresh)
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes or cayenne (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 large eggplant, peeled, quartered, and cut in 1/4-inch slices
2 cups good quality tomato sauce
4 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
3 oz. crumbled feta
1 1/2 cups breadcrumbs (optional)

Preheat the oven to 425°.

Set aside about 2 tsp of the minced garlic if you plan to use the breadcrumbs. Heat 3 Tbsp of the olive oil in a large skillet, then sauté the remaining garlic and the onion for about 2 minutes over medium-high heat. Stir in the oregano, red pepper flakes or cayenne (if using), lemon zest, salt, and pepper and sauté for an additional 30 seconds or so. Add the eggplant to the skillet and sauté over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until tender but not mushy, about 6-8 minutes. Remove from heat.

If you are using the breadcrumbs, heat the remaining 1 Tbsp of olive oil in a small skillet. Add the remaining 2 tsp of minced garlic and sauté for about 1 minute. Add the breadcrumbs and sauté over high heat until they are crisp, about 3-4 minutes. Set aside.

In the bottom of a 1 1/2- or 2-quart casserole dish, spread 1 cup of the tomato sauce. For the next layer, spread half of the eggplant mixture. Top the eggplant with all of the shredded mozzarella and feta. Spread the remaining eggplant mixture over the cheese. Press down gently on the eggplant to compact the casserole somewhat. Top the second layer of eggplant with the remaining 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Spread the breadcrumbs over the tomato sauce.

Bake the casserole for about 15 minutes. Serve hot.

Serves 4-6.

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