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Skordostoumbi - Zakynthos Garlicky Eggplant

This Greek recipe for garlicky baked eggplant is a traditional dish of the Ionian islands and a perfect example of great Mediterranean Diet vegetable cookery. The characteristic sweet-sour flavor imparted by the use of vinegar in the sauce is a local favorite. It’s a wonderful plant-based Greek recipe, one of the most delicious in the whole range of Greek vegetarian dishes.
Course dessert
Cuisine Greek, Greek cuisine, Mediterranean diet
Keyword aubergine, Diane Kochilas, EGGPLANT, garlic, Greek food, Greek recipes, Zakynthos, Zante
PREP TIME 15 minutes
COOK TIME 1 hour 10 minutes
SERVES 5

Ingredients

  • 2 large or 3 medium eggplant about 2 pounds total, sliced into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • Salt to taste eggplant
  • 1/2 to 2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil as needed
  • 8 to 10 garlic cloves to taste, peeled and crushed
  • 4 to 5 large tomatoes
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • ½ to ⅔ cup chopped fresh herbs of choice (parsley, oregano, mint, marjoram)
  • 3 tablespoons sherry vinegar or red wine vinegar or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon honey (optional)
  • 4 - 5 tablespoons crumbled feta or grated ladotyri (optional)

Instructions

  1. Salt the eggplant slices lightly inside a mixing bowl. Heat 2 to 3 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat and lightly brown the eggplant slices on both sides, in batches, replenishing the olive oil if necessary. Drain on paper towels.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350F/170C.
  3. In the same frying pan, add the garlic and cook gently for a few minutes, just to soften. Add the tomato, cook it down a bit over medium heat, season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the honey and vinegar. Simmer gently until thick, about 15 to 20 minutes.
  4. Place a few tablespoons of the sauce on the bottom of a medium sized baking dish and drizzle in a little olive oil. Place the eggplant slices on top, sprinkling with herbs and a little cheese, if desired. Spread a little sauce over the eggplant and continue layering in the same manner until everything is used up. Press down with a spatula and sprinkle a little vinegar on top. Bake for about 45 minutes, remove, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve, with creamy polenta or feta, or both.