Eggplants Braised with Trahana
Eggplant and trahana, the Greek pebbly grain product that is one of the country's most unique and delicious ingredients, make for a wonderful one-pot meal, filling, healthy and pleasantly tart and sweet all at once. This recipe is adapted from a Cretan Diet classic, which calls for the local version of trahana, called xinohondros on Crete.
- 1 kg (2 lbs) long, skinny eggplant, washed
- 120 ml (1/2 cup) extra virgin Greek olive oil
- 2 large red onions, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 tomatoes, grated, skins discarded or 1 tablespoon tomato paste diluted in 240 ml (1 cup) of water
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 360 ml (1 1/2 cups) or more of water or vegetable stock
- 250 grams (1 1/2 cups) sour trahana or bulgur
- Remove the stems and cut the eggplant in thick slices about 2.5 cm (1 inch) thick. Soak them for 30 to 60 minutes in a large bowl with salted water to leach out any bitterness. With your hands squeeze out as much liquid as possible.
- Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick frying pan and saute the onions and garlic until they begin to soften. Add the eggplant and continue to saute, stirring to color them on both sides. Mix in the tomatoes or tomato paste, parsley and bay leaves. Cover the pan to coax the liquid out of the tomatoes for five minutes, reduce heat to a simmer and if necessary add a little water or stock if the eggplants start to stick.
- When the eggplants are half done, stir in the trahana or bulgur, add 240 ml (1 cup) of water or stock, cover and simmer until the liquid has been absorbed and the grains are tender. Check the pan from time to time to make sure they are not sticking and add more liquid as necessary. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
- Click herehere to learn more about trahana, the world's oldest, healthiest fast food.
Greek Food - Greek Cooking - Greek Recipes by Diane Kochilas http://www.dianekochilas.com/