Well, the other day I was feeling so-so, because my fridge was full of little somethings. To the OCD part of me, that just drives me crazy. I like order in my universe and that includes a clean, organized fridge. I had some hummus left, I had eggplants that would start to spoil soon, I had an opened jar of roasted peppers, among others… so, I sat down to watch my afternoon fix of Food Network and here comes Rachael with this 30-minute recipe for Mediterranean Eggplant Steaks – a vegetarian recipe good enough for meat-eating company… my kind of recipe!!!
I tried the recipe that same night I learned, in fact, that I missed the olives in the original recipe… and it turned out great. I shared it with my neighbors and they were impressed. They asked me to make this at an upcoming neighborly get-together… nice, huh? And if the Israeli neighbor liked it… it must be good, if not authentic.
Try it tonight…
MEDITERRANEAN EGGPLANT STACKS
1 medium eggplant, cut into 4 steaks lengthwise, about 1-inch thick
1 (10-ounce) box frozen spinach, defrosted
1 roasted red pepper, chopped
1 or 2 cloves garlic, grated
1 cup of hummus, home-made or store-bought
1 cup whole-wheat or spelt bread crumbs
2 tbs fresh flat-leaf parsley
Extra-virgin olive oil Salt and Pepper to taste
- Defrost spinach. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
- Heat a non-stick skillet to medium-high with about 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive in it. Add roasted peppers and garlic to skillet.
- Squeeze the spinach dry and separate as you add it to the skillet. Season the spinach with salt and pepper and heat through. Set aside.
- Brush the eggplant steaks lightly with extra-virgin olive oil and season liberally on both sides with salt and pepper.
- In the same skillet you made the spinach and peppers, pan roast the eggplants 3 to 4 minutes for small eggplant, turning occasionally, until the steaks begin to become tender but are not fully cooked.
- Place the eggplants on baking sheets. Top each steak with a few forkfuls of spinach mixture.
- Spread a few rounded spoonfuls of hummus evenly across the steaks on top of the spinach, covering it completely in a thin layer.
- Toss the bread crumbs with 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil and parsley. Divide the bread crumbs and scatter them over the steaks on top of the hummus.
- Bake for about 5 minutes or so, to brown bread crumbs.
A note about eggplants:
I learned once from Martha Stewart and a guest on her show, Eleonora Scarpeta, that you should always buy the lightest eggplants you can find. They should be light for their size – kind of like the opposite you would think, no? The reason being that the lighter the eggplant, the less seeds it has and therefore the less bitterness it will have. This fact is particularly important in this recipe where we cut the eggplants and cook it straight.