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Aubergine And Feta Bake

Aubergine And Feta Bake

My family and I love everything with aubergine and this aubergine and feta bake is our all time favorite. It is very easy to make and packed with flavor. Made with pan fried aubergines (aka. eggplants) and baked in a flavorful tomato sauce with feta cheese. Makes perfect appetizer, side or main dish.

My husband, our 1-year old daughter and I just returned from our second Italian vacation this year. During our 2 – week vacation, we visited my friend Mauro in Casalincontrada (a small town located about 195 km, east of Rome).

We also had a chance to visit some local olive oil farmers and bought 5 liter (5 quarts) can extra virgin olive oil that i use in my everyday cooking such as making this aubergine bake.

In Italy they have a similar dish: Parmigiana di Melanzane – but for this recipe the eggplant slices are not dusted with flour. I have also used feta cheese to make this aubergine bake, but it still turned out delicious.

The aubergines are sliced, fried and layered with feta cheese and a savory tomato sauce that’s spiced to perfection. Then finished off in the oven for 25 minutes @ 200 °C (392 °F).

Here is what I love about this aubergine bake: It’s delicious, meatless and versatile. If you don’t have eggplants you can replace them with zucchini, bell peppers or mushrooms. Sometimes I use a mixture of all. You could also replace feta cheese with Parmesan cheese to make melanzane alla pargmigiana.

Serve your eggplant feta bake with a slice bread, pasta or over rice.

What you’ll need to make eggplant bake recipe

For the eggplants:

– 2 eggplants (approx. 650 g/ 23 oz)
– 150 ml (5.1 fl oz/ 2/3 cup) olive oil

For the tomato sauce:

– 1 medium onion
– 400 g (14.1 oz) canned tomatoes, undrained
– 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
– 2 garlic cloves
– 1 tablespoon tomato paste
– 4 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
– 1 tablespoon olive oil/ oil from sun dried tomatoes
– 100 ml (3.4 fl oz/ about 1/2 cup) water
– 1 teaspoon ground paprika
– 1 teaspoon sugar
– salt and pepper to taste
– 250 g (8.8 oz) feta cheese

How to make aubergine feta bake

Rinse eggplants and cut them into slices.

Fill the bowl with water and stir in 1.5 teaspoons salt. Soak eggplant slices for about 30 minutes. If there are some slices without water, just press them gently down with your hands. In this way the bitter taste will be drawn out of the eggplant and the eggplant slices won’t soak lots of oil when you’ll be frying them.

In the meantime make the tomato sauce. Simply peel and chop onion and garlic finely. Cut sun dried tomatoes into smaller pieces as well.

Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pot at medium – high heat and saute onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Add sun – dried tomatoes, followed by tomato paste, dried herbs, sugar and ground paprika.

Stir in undrained tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat.

TIP: The tomato sauce is very flavorful and you could also make it alone and serve it with spaghetti or use it to make a vegetarian lasagna.

Pan-fry eggplants

After 30 minutes, remove eggplant slices from the water, put them on a cutting board lined with paper towels and pat dry.

Heat half of olive oil in the skillet over medium heat and fry eggplant slices on both sides, until nicely golden brown. Repeat the process until you fried all the eggplant slices.

NOTE: – Don’t add all of the oil at once, just keep adding oil part-by-part if you need more.
– If you think that 150 ml (2/3 cup) olive oil is too much for you, just brush eggplant slices with oil and roast them in the oven, before layering and baking.
– If some of the slices soaked up more oil, just put them on top of the eggplant slices with less oil, so that the oil will be transferred to the other slices.

Preheat the oven to 200 °C (392 °F), with both top and bottom heat.

Layer eggplant-tomato sauce and feta

Start with tomato sauce and end with feta cheese.

Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in a casserole dish. Then layer with eggplant slices followed by tomato sauce and one-third of crumbled feta cheese. Repeat the process until you’ve used up all the sauces and eggplant slices.

You should divide the feta cheese equally, based on the number of layers you’re having. I had three layers, thus why I divide the cheese into three parts.

Bake for 25 minutes or until feta cheese is slightly brown.

After 25 minutes let the casserole rest for few minutes before serving. Drizzle with balsamico creme, if desired and serve immediately. I served it with homemade flatbread.

More meatless recipes that even meat – eaters will love:

Aubergine And Feta Bake

My family and I love everything with aubergine and this aubergine and feta bake is our all time favorite. It is very easy to make and packed with flavor. Made with pan fried aubergines (aka. eggplants) and baked in a flavorful tomato sauce with feta cheese. Makes perfect appetizer, side or main dish.
Prep Time50 mins
Cook Time25 mins
Total Time1 hr 15 mins
Course: Main Course, Side Dish, Starter
Cuisine: Greek, Italian, Mediterranean
Keyword: Antipasti, Antipasto, aubergine and feta bake, aubergine feta, gluten free, keto, Low carb, Vegetables, vegetarian, weeknight dinner
Servings: 4 Servings
Author: Ester | esterkocht.com

Equipment

  • Casserole dish (15 x 30 cm (6 x 12 inch))
  • Large skillet
  • Large bowl
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Saucepan or pot
  • spoon
  • Fork
  • paper towels

Ingredients

For the eggplants

  • 2 eggplants (approx. 650 g (23 oz))
  • 150 ml (5.1 fl oz/ 2/3 cup) olive oil

For the tomato sauce

  • 1 medium onion
  • 400 g (14.1 oz) canned tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 teaspoon dried Italian herbs
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 sun-dried tomatoes, in oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil/ oil from sun dried tomatoes
  • 100 ml (3.4 fl oz/ about 1/2 cup) water
  • 1 teaspoon ground paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 250 g (8.8 oz) feta cheese
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • water plus 1,5 teaspoons salt to soak in eggplants

Instructions

  • Rinse eggplants and cut them into slices. Fill the bowl with water, put in 1,5 teaspoons salt and stir well. Soak eggplant slices for about 30 minutes. If there are some slices without water, just press them gently down with your hands.
  • In the meantime peel and cut onions and garlic finely. Cut sun dried tomatoes into smaller pieces as well. Next, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in the pot at medium-high heat and saute onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add sun – dried tomatoes, followed by tomato paste, dried herbs, sugar and ground paprika. Stir in undrained tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat, cover and let simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and remove from the heat. Preheat the oven to 200 °C (392 °F), with both top and bottom heat.
  • After 30 minutes, remove eggplant slices from the water, put them on a cutting board lined with paper towels and pat dry. Heat half of olive oil in the skillet and fry eggplant slices on both sides, until nicely golden brown. Repeat the process until you fried all the eggplant slices. (SEE NOTE 3).
  • Start with tomato sauce and end with feta cheese.
    Spread a thin layer of tomato sauce in a casserole dish. Then layer with eggplant slices followed by tomato sauce and one-third of crumbled feta cheese. Repeat the process until you've used up all the sauces and eggplant slices.
  • Bake for 25 minutes or until feta cheese is slightly brown. After 25 minutes let the casserole rest for few minutes before serving. Drizzle with balsamico creme, if desired and serve immediately. I served it with homemade flatbread.

Notes

  1. It’s very important to soak eggplant, in this way the bitter taste will be drawn out of the eggplant and the eggplant slices won’t soak lots of oil when you’ll be frying them.
  2. TIP: The tomato sauce is very flavorful and you could also make it alone and serve it with spaghetti or use it to make a vegetarian lasagna.
  3. When frying the eggplant slices, don’t add all of the oil at once, just keep adding oil part-by-part if you need more. 
  4. You should divide the feta cheese equally, based on the number of layers you’re having. I had three layers, thus why I divide the cheese into three parts.

Did you make this aubergine and feta bake recipe? I’d love to hear from you! Simply write a comment and add rating to it. 

Recipe Rating




marya

Monday 28th of October 2019

Hello dear one writing to you from Italy. Most probably you ate the classic italian Dish Melanzane alla pargmigiana wow who would have thought to try it with feta. will give this a try.

Narmadha

Thursday 22nd of November 2018

Wow. Looks so temping

Ester

Saturday 24th of November 2018

It is! Hopefully you'll give it a go, Narmadha!