Eggplant Dolmades with Herbs and Cheese
Stuffed eggplants come in many shapes and sizes in the repertoire of traditional Greek recipes. This is a favorite. If you want to use Greek dried herbs and wonderful Greek olive oil to give this recipe an authentic note, go to my online store here.
For the sauce
- 4 cups canned chopped tomatoes
- 2 garlic cloves
- Salt and sugar to taste
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
For the eggplants
- 1 - 2 cups all purpose flour
- 4 large eggs slightly beaten
- 3 1/2 cups breadcrumbs
- 2 2/3 cups grated Kefalotyri cheese about 220 g
- 2 medium-large eggplants cut lengthwise into 18 slices, each about 1 cm thick
- 350 g kasseri cheese or any semi-hard, mild yellow sheep's milk cheese, coarsely grated
- 1 1/4 cups anthotyro or ricotta drained
- 3/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- ½ cup chopped fresh mint leaves
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh oregano leaves
- Pepper to taste
In a medium saucapan, simmer the tomatoes, garlic, salt, sugar and olive oil together until thickened and reduced by about 1 cup. Remove from heat and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350F/180C. Oil 3 baking sheets and one glass baking dish large enough to hold the eggplant rolls (about 13 X 9 X 2 inches).
Place flour in a wide shallow bowl, eggs in second bowl, and breadcrumbs mixed with 1 cup kefalotyri cheese in another.
Season each eggplant slice with salt and pepper. Press each slice, one at a time, into the flour, then dip into the beaten egg, and finally into the breadcrumb-cheese mixture.
Arrange eggplant slices in single layer on prepared sheets. Bake eggplant in batches until coating is golden, turning after 15 minutes, about 30 minutes total. Cool on sheets.
Mix the kasseri, anthotyro, herbs, and 1 cup of kefalotyri in a bowl. Season with salt and pepper.
Spread about 2 tablespoons of the cheese filling over the surface of each eggplant slice. Starting at the narrow end, roll up eggplant slices. Arrange rolls, seam side down, in prepared baking dish. Spoon the sauce over the rolls and sprinkle with remaining kefalotyri.
Bake uncovered until the eggplant dolmades are heated through and the kasseri melts, about 30 minutes.