Many of the below recipes are common eggplant recipes made in Leonidio. Try them out and explore the world of eggplants!


Eggplant preserve (Sweet) - Melitznaki gliko

4-5 cloves, almonds (with no skin), 2 cups water, 3 pieces of cinnamon stick, 1 kilo sugar(280grams), 1 kilo (280 grams) eggplants.

Select 30 small eggplants (1kilo). Remove the stems and green. With a small knife remove the thin layer of skin from the outside of the eggplants. Place the cleaned eggplants in a bowl of water, which has freshly squeezed lemon juice. (5 kilos of water one cup lemon). This prevents them from browning. Let them sit in the water & lemon for 24 hours, changing the water 2 - 3 times.

Strain the eggplants. Put a small slice in each eggplant and place 1-2 almonds in each. Boil the sugar and water with the cinnamon and cloves for 5 min. Add the eggplants, cook for 5 min. Remove the pot from the heat and let it stand for 24 hours.

Boil on a high heat, remove the foam. Once thick, add 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Let it boil again (5-10 seconds). Remove from heat and let it cool down. Place in sterilized jars.


Pickled Eggplants - Melitzanaki Toursi

1 kilo carrots, 1 clove garlic, 1 kilo celery, 1/2 kilo oil, 1 kilo vinegar, A few peppers, pickling spices, salt, pepper, parsley, 1 kilo small eggplants

Clean the eggplants and slice them into three parts. Boil them with a little oil until tender, then drain. Keep one kilo of this water for the pickling process. Slit the eggplants to be stuffed. Thinly slice the onion, garlic, parsley, carrot and stuff the eggplants with this mixture.

In the mean time boil the celery until soft and let it drain. Combine the celery and eggplants so that the celery covers the stuffed eggplants making sure not to let the filling fall out. Place in a sterile glass jars, add one kilo water (held from earlier), one kilo vinegar and a little oil on top.

Cover and let it stand for one week. Then it is ready to serve.


Eggplant Patties - Melitzanokeftethes

12 large eggplants, 3 eggs, pepper, salt, oregano, fresh mint leaves, bread crumbs, 1/4 cup cheese, garlic, onion, flour

Peel the eggplant and boil them. Slice them in a grinder / processor. Add the eggs, pepper, salt, mint leaves finely chopped, cheese, garlic and onion. Add some bread crumbs and a little flour to get some solid texture to the mixture. Form in round balls then pat into a patty shape. Slightly flour the outsides and fry the patties in a frying pan to get color.



2 large (about 1.2kg) eggplants, Coarse cooking salt, 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil,2 tablespoons olive oil (extra), 1 large onion, chopped, 2 cloves garlic, crushed, 1 kg minced lamb, 425g can tomatoes,2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1/2 cup (125ml) dry red wine, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon sugar, 1/4 ground cinnamon, Salt, pepper,1/4-cup (20g) grated Parmesan cheese, 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Cheese Sauce (Béchamel): 125g butter, 2/3 cup (100g) plain flour, 1 liter (4 cups) milk,1/2-cup (40g) grated Parmesan cheese, 2 eggs

Cut eggplants into 5mm slices, sprinkle with salt, stand 20 minutes. Rinse eggplant under cold water; drain, pat dry with absorbent paper. Place eggplant slices in single layer on lightly greased oven trays. Brush with oil, grill on both sides until lightly browned; drain on absorbent paper.

Heat extra oil in pan; add onion and garlic, cook, stirring, until onion is soft. Add mince, cook, stirring, until mince is browned. Add undrained crushed tomatoes, paste, wine, parsley, sugar and cinnamon with salt and pepper to taste, simmer, covered, 30 minutes.

Grease ovenproof dish (2.5 liter / 10 cup capacity). Line dish with one-third of the eggplant, top with half the meat sauce, then half the remaining eggplant, remaining meat sauce and remaining eggplant. Spread cheese sauce (béchamel) over eggplant, sprinkle with cheese and nutmeg. Bake, uncovered, in moderate oven about 45 minutes or until lightly browned.

Cheese Sauce (Béchamel): Melt butter in pan, stir in flour, stir over heat until bubbling. Remove from heat, gradually stir in milk, and stir over heat until mixture boils and thins. Remove from heat, stir in cheese, cool slightly, sit in eggs; mix until smooth.

Serves 6, Recipe can be made a day ahead, Storage: Covered, in refrigerator

Option: My mother's recipe is a bit different. She puts a layer of fried potatoes on the bottom to keep it solid.


Stuffed Eggplants - Papoutsakia

10 Eggplants, 0.5 kilos ground beef,1 onion, 1 clove garlic, Salt & Pepper, 4 ripe tomatoes

In one medium sized pot add olive oil, add onion. Let it cook until tender. Add the ground beef, salt, pepper, and tomato with one cup of water. Let the ground beef mixture cook until all the water is gone.

Slice the eggplants down the center and remove the center and ends. Lightly fry the eggplants. Once done place them in a roasting pan. Fill each eggplant with the ground beef mixture. Top them off with a béchamel sauce. Place in a medium heat oven for one hour.

Eggplant in a Stew - (Melitzanes me kreas)

1 kilo meat (beef, lamb or goat), 10 medium sized tsakonikes eggplants, 2 medium sized onions, 3 ripe fresh tomatoes finely chopped, 1 tablespoon tomato-paste, 1or2 cloves garlic, parsley to taste, salt & pepper to taste.

Cut the meat into small cubes. Put 1/2 cup oil in a large stew pot, add the onion and lightly brown it with the meat. Once lightly browned, add a little white wine. Add the tomato and the tomato-paste which is diluted in a little water. Add salt and pepper to desired taste. Allow the meat to cook well. Wash the eggplants and cut them in small pieces, then let them sit in salt water for a few minutes. After a while, remove the eggplants from the water and rinse them in clean water, squeezing out excess water once rinsed. Sauté the eggplants in a pan so that they get a little soft. Place the eggplants on paper-towel to remove excess oil. Add to pot with meat to slowly cook. Make sure the heat on the stove is at a low temperature so the food does not stick to the bottom of the pot.

Bulgur with Fried Eggplant and Herbs - Politiko Pligouri me Melitzanes

(Taken from The Greek Vegetarian - Diane Kochilas)

The origin of this meal is actually from the Greeks of Constantinople.

2/3-cup bulgur wheat (cracked wheat), 1 1/3 cups water, 1 large eggplant, or 2 small ones (about 1 pound total), Salt, 1/3 to 1/2 cup olive oil, 2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped, 1/2 cup finely chopped dill, 1/4 cup shopped fresh mint leaves, 1 to 2 tablespoons strained fresh lemon juice, Salt to taste Yield: 4 servings

Place the bulgur in a medium-sized bowl and add the water. Toss it a little and let it sit, covered with a cloth, for 2 to 3 hours, until all the water is absorbed. (You can hasten this process by following package directions and adding boiling water to the bulgur instead. Whatever method you choose, the ratio of water to bulgur should always be 2:1, to ensure that the grain stays toothsome and fluffy.)

Wash and pat dry the eggplant. Trim the stem and bottom. Cut the eggplant in half lengthwise, and cut each half into four or five strips. Cut each strip into small cubes, a little less than an inch square. Place them in a colander, sprinkle with 1 to 2 teaspoons salt. Place a weight (such as a pot cover) over the eggplant and let drain for 30 minutes. Rinse and drain well, squeezing to remove excess liquid, and pat dry.

Heat half the oil in a large skillet and add the diced eggplant (you may have to do this in tow batches). Stir-fry the eggplant continuously until it is coated with the oil and begins to soften. Add the garlic and continue to fry until the eggplant is very soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and toss together with the bulgur.

Add the dill and mint to the bulgur salad and toss to combine. Season with lemon juice and salt and serve.

Eggplant Dip - Melitzanosalata

1 large eggplant, 1 medium onion, finely chopped, 3/4 cup (75g) packaged breadcrumbs, 2 tablespoons plain yogurt, 3 cloves garlic, crushed, 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley,1 tablespoon cider vinegar, 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice,1/2 cup (125ml) olive oil

Place whole eggplant on oven tray, bake in hot oven about 1 hour or until soft. Remove eggplant from oven; cool slightly. Peel eggplant, chop flesh roughly.

Combine eggplant flesh with remaining ingredients in food processor, process until smooth. Refrigerate mixture several hours or overnight.

Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Recipe can be made 2 days ahead. Storage: Covered, in refrigerator.


Veal with Eggplant and Olives

1 large eggplant, coarse cooking salt, 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil, 1 tablespoon olive oil, extra, 1kg diced veal, 2 medium onions, chopped, 2 teaspoons ground cumin, 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice, 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper, 4 cloves garlic(crushed), 2 bay leaves, 2x425g cans tomatoes, 1/4 cup (60ml) tomato paste, 1/2 cup (125ml) water, 1 3/4 cups (430ml) dry red wine, 1/4 cup (60ml) lemon juice, 1/2 cup(90g) pitted black olives(quartered), 1/2 cup(90g) pimiento-stuffed green olives(quarterd), 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leafed parsley, 1/2 teaspoon sugar, salt, pepper

1. Cut eggplant into 2.5 cm pieces, sprinkle with salt, stand 30 minutes. Rinse eggplant under cold water, drain, pat dry with absorbent paper.

2. Heat oil in large pan, add eggplant, cook until lightly browned, remove eggplant from pan.

3. Heat extra oil in same pan, add veal in batches, cook until browned all over, remove veal from pan.

4. Add onions to same pan, cook stirring, until soft. Return veal to pan, add spices, garlic and bay leaves, cook, stirring, 1 minute.

5. Add undrained crushed tomatoes, paste, water and wine, stir until combined, simmer, covered, over low heat 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Add eggplant, simmer, covered, 20 minutes or until eggplant and veal are tender. Add juice, olives, parsley and sugar with salt and pepper to taste, simmer until heated through.

Serves 4 to 6.


Eggplant Slices Baked (The Frugal Gourmet)

2 medium eggplants (each about one pound), 1 tablespoon salt, 3/4 cup olive oil, Juice of one lemon, 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano (crushed by hand), Freshly ground black pepper to taste, salt if needed

With a for, score the eggplant lengthwise. Cut into slices 1/4 inch thick and sprinkle with the salt. Drain in a colander for 1 hour and then rinse with water and pat dry with paper towels.

Pan-brown the slices using 1/4 cup of the olive oil. When lightly browned place on a baking sheet and bake at 375 degrees until very tender. Remove and allow to cool a bit.

Mix the remaining 1/2 cup oil with the lemon juice, oregano, and pepper. Dress the slices with this sauce and test for needed salt.

Variation: This eggplant is also terrific with garlicky Skorthalia Sauce


Eggplant, Roman Style (Melanzane alla Romana)

This is a common lunch dish in Rome and it is simply a quick and easy form of Eggplant Parmesan. It is nice for a party because you can make it ahead and pop it into an oven at the last minute.

The eggplants are sliced 1/3 inch thick and salted. Allow to drain in a colander for 1/2 hour. Rinse with water and pat dry with paper towels. Pan-brown the slices on both sides, in a little olive oil. Arrange on a baking sheet.

Brown a bit of hamburger, along with some chopped yellow onion, crushed garlic, and salt and pepper. Place a bit of the cooked meat on top of each eggplant slice. Top with a bit of Italian Tomato Sauce along with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan or Romano cheese. Place a slice of mozzarella cheese on top of each and sprinkle with a it of oregano. Bake in a 375 degree oven until all is hot and bubbly. You may wish to broil at the last minute, thus browning the cheese.


Grilled Eggplant and Fontina

Slice eggplants the long way, about 1/4 inch thick. Salt each slice and allow to drain in a colander for 1/2 hour. Rinse with water and pat dry with paper towels. Grill the slices on the charcoal barbecue with a bit of olive oil on each. Be sure to keep the heat low so that you do not burn them. Allow to cool. Roll each up with a thin slice of fontina cheese and secure with a toothpick. Drizzle a dressing of olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, and oregano over each. Serve at room temperature.



Pasta Mille Gusti

This recipe for "pasta with a thousand flavors," as Aeolian Islanders call it.  

Recommended are Bella di Cerignola olives, which are quite mild.

Active time: 1 hr Start to finish: 1 1/2 hr

1 eggplant (1 1/4 lb), peeled and cut into 1/4-inch dice
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons salt-packed capers *
1 red bell pepper
4 cups vegetable oil
10 green Bella di Cerignola olives, pitted*
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves
1/4 cup loosely packed fresh parsley leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh marjoram
3 garlic cloves
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 anchovy fillet, rinsed and chopped
2 tablespoons dry white wine
1 lb penne rigate or fusilli

Special equipment: a deep-fat thermometer

Toss eggplant with salt in a colander set in a large bowl, then let drain, tossing occasionally, 1 hour.

While eggplant drains, rinse capers in a sieve and transfer to a small bowl. Cover capers with water by 2 inches and soak 30 minutes. Drain, then repeat soaking. Drain and rinse capers, then squeeze dry and coarsely chop.

Roast bell pepper on rack of a gas burner over moderately high heat, turning with tongs, until skin is blackened, about 5 minutes. (Or broil pepper on a broiler pan about 5 inches from heat, turning occasionally, about 15 minutes.) Transfer to a bowl, then cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let pepper steam 10 minutes.

When cool enough to handle, peel pepper and discard seeds, stem, and ribs. Pat pepper dry and purée in a blender until smooth.

Rinse eggplant and pat dry thoroughly. Heat vegetable oil in a 4-quart pot over high heat until it registers 375°F on thermometer. Fry one third of eggplant, stirring gently, until just golden brown, about 5 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Fry remaining eggplant in 2 batches, returning oil to 375°F between batches.

Pulse together olives, basil, mint, parsley, marjoram, and 2 garlic cloves in a food processor until finely chopped.

Finely chop remaining garlic clove and cook in olive oil along with anchovy in a 5-quart heavy pot over moderately low heat, stirring, until anchovy dissolves and garlic is fragrant, about 1 minute. Increase heat to moderate and stir in pepper purée, then cook, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in olive mixture, capers, and wine and cook, stirring, until wine is evaporated, about 1 minute. Stir in eggplant (sauce will be very thick) and remove from heat. Keep warm, covered.

Cook pasta in a 6- to 8-quart pot of boiling salted water until al dente, then drain and stir into sauce. Season with salt.

*Available at specialty foods shops

Makes 4 main-course servings.

January 2004  Adapted from Giovanna Tabanelli  on



There will be about 3/4 cup of parsley pesto left over after making this lasagne.

Active time: 1 3/4 hr Start to finish: 2 3/4 hr

For béchamel
1 garlic clove, minced
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 cups whole milk
1 Turkish or 1/2 California bay leaf
1 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon white pepper

For pesto and ricotta mixture
1 1/3 cups hazelnuts (5 1/2 oz), toasted and loose skins rubbed off in a kitchen towel
4 cups loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves (from 3/4 lb)
3 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (1 1/2 cups)
2/3 cup plus 1/4 cup olive oil
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/4 teaspoons black pepper
1 large egg
1 (15-oz) container whole-milk ricotta

For lasagne
4 lb medium eggplants (4), cut crosswise into 1/3-inch-thick slices
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon black pepper
9 (7- by 3 1/2-inch) oven-ready lasagne noodles (sometimes called "no-boil"; 6 oz)
1 1/2 oz finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Make béchamel:
Cook garlic in butter in a 3-quart heavy saucepan over moderately low heat, stirring, 1 minute. Add flour and cook roux, whisking, 3 minutes. Add milk in a stream, whisking. Add bay leaf and bring to a boil over moderately high heat, whisking constantly, then reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, until liquid is reduced to about 4 cups, about 10 minutes. Whisk in salt and white pepper, then remove from heat and discard bay leaf. Cover surface of sauce with wax paper until ready to use.

Make pesto and ricotta mixture:
Coarsely chop 1/3 cup hazelnuts and reserve for sprinkling over lasagne.

Purée parsley, Parmigiano-Reggiano, 2/3 cup oil, garlic, 1 teaspoon salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, and remaining cup hazelnuts in a food processor until pesto is smooth, about 1 minute.

Whisk egg in a bowl, then stir in ricotta, 1 cup parsley pesto, remaining teaspoon salt, and remaining 1/4 teaspoon pepper until combined well.

Stir together 1/4 cup pesto and remaining 1/4 cup oil in a small bowl for drizzling over lasagne.

Roast eggplant for lasagne:
Put oven racks in upper and lower thirds of oven and preheat oven to 450°F. Oil 2 large baking sheets.

Brush eggplant with oil on both sides, then arrange in 1 layer on baking sheets and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake eggplant, switching position of sheets halfway through baking and turning slices over once, until tender, 20 to 25 minutes total.

Assemble lasagne:
Put oven rack in middle position and reduce oven temperature to 425°F. Lightly oil a 13- by 9- by 2-inch glass or ceramic baking dish (3 quart) and line a larger shallow baking pan with foil.

Spread 1 cup béchamel in baking dish and cover with 3 pasta sheets, leaving spaces between sheets. Drop 1 cup ricotta mixture by spoonfuls over pasta, spreading evenly (layer will be thin), then top with 1 layer of eggplant, cutting rounds to fit if necessary. Make 1 more layer each of béchamel, pasta, ricotta, and eggplant. Spread with 1 cup béchamel and cover with remaining 3 pasta sheets. Spread remaining cup ricotta mixture over pasta, then spread ricotta with remaining cup béchamel and top with remaining eggplant in 1 layer (you may have a few slices left over). Sprinkle Parmigiano-Reggiano over eggplant and scatter with reserved chopped hazelnuts.

Tightly cover baking dish with oiled foil (oiled side down), then set dish in foil-lined pan (to catch drips) and bake lasagne 30 minutes. Remove foil and bake until golden and bubbling, 10 to 15 minutes more. Let lasagne stand 15 to 20 minutes before serving.

Serve lasagne drizzled with pesto.

Cooks' notes:
• Lasagne can be assembled 2 hours ahead and chilled, covered. Bring to room temperature before baking.
• Lasagne can be baked 1 day ahead and cooled completely, then chilled, covered. Let stand at room temperature 1 hour, then heat in a preheated 350°F oven, covered, until hot, 30 to 40 minutes.

Makes 8 servings.

November 2003


Eggplant Parmigiana Alla Scalini's
From restaurant owners Bobby and John Bogino

Nearly 300 baby pictures decorate Scalini's old-fashioned Italian restaurant in Cobb County, Ga.

All of the babies pictured on the Italian restaurant wall were born after their mothers ate the Scalini's eggplant parmigiana. The $9.95 plate of breaded eggplant smothered in cheese and thick marinara sauce is "guaranteed" to induce labor, the restaurant claims.

The eggplant legend began not long after the restaurant opened 23 years ago.

"Two or three years after we began, a few people had just mentioned to us they came in when they were pregnant, and ate this eggplant and had a baby a short time after that," said John Bogino, who runs the restaurant with his son, Bobby Bogino. "One person told another, and it just grew by itself by leaps and bounds."

To date, more than 300 of the pregnant women customers who ordered the eggplant have given birth within 48 hours, and the restaurant dubs them the "eggplant babies." If it doesn't work in two days, the moms-to-be get a gift certificate for another meal.

We make no promises, but the restaurant has graciously shared the recipe.


·  3 medium sized eggplants

·  1 cup flour

·  6 eggs, beaten

·  4 cups fine Italian bread crumbs, seasoned

·  Olive oil for sauteing

·  8 cups of marinara sauce (recipe below)

·  1/2 cup grated Romano cheese

·  1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

·  1 1/2 pounds of mozzarella cheese, shredded

·  2 cups of ricotta cheese


1. After you wash the eggplant, slice them into 1/4-inch thick slices. You may choose to peel the eggplant before you slice it. However, you may want to leave the skin on since it contains a lot of vitamins.

2. Place the eggplant slices on a layer of paper towels and sprinkle with a little salt, then cover with another layer of paper towels and hold it down with something heavy to drain the excess moisture. Let them sit for about an hour.

3. Working with one slice of eggplant at a time, dust with flour, dip in beaten eggs, then coat well with breadcrumbs.

4. Saute in preheated olive oil on both sides until golden brown.

5. In baking dish, alternate layers of marinara sauce, eggplant slices, ricotta, parmesan and Romano cheeses, until you fill the baking dish, about 1/8 inch from the top. Cover with shredded mozzarella cheese, and bake for 25 minutes in a 375 degree oven. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Scalini's Marinara Sauce


·  2 Tablespoons of chopped garlic

·  3 Tablespoons of olive oil

·  8 cups chopped tomatoes (fresh or canned)

·  1 cup onions, chopped

·  1/2 cup of fresh chopped parsley

·  1 teaspoon oregano

·  1 teaspoon of crushed red pepper

·  1/8 cup of fresh chopped sweet basil

·  Pinch of thyme

·  Pinch of rosemary

·  One teaspoon salt

·  One teaspoon black pepper


1. Lightly saute the onions in olive oil in large pot for a few minutes.

2. Add garlic and saute another minute.

3. Add tomatoes and bring sauce to a boil, then turn heat low.

4. Add remaining ingredients, stir, cover and let simmer for one hour, stirring occasionally.

Recipe courtesy of John Bogino, Scalini's Italian Restaurant, Smyrna, Ga.



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