Friday, 12 January 2018


“I wonder if Socrates and Plato took a house on Crete during the summer.” – Woody Allen 

It is Summer and we have harvested lots of zucchinis from our garden and the first couple of eggplants. It is time to make this special traditional Greek summertime dish, which seems to be a favourite the world over: 


For the mince filling:
    • 4 tablespoonfuls of olive oil
    • 2 onions (+ 2 cloves of garlic - optional)
    • 500 g of beef or lamb minced meat
    • 400 mL of tomato purée
    • Salt, pepper, oregano, rosemary, thyme, bay leaf, paprika
For the vegetable filling:
    • 3 medium sized potatoes
    • 2 largish eggplants
    • 2 largish zucchini (courgettes)
    • Vegetable oil for frying
For the topping:
    • 160 g of butter
    • 4 tablespoonfuls of plain flour
    • 1 litre of milk
    • 6 eggs
    • Nutmeg, pepper, salt
    • Grated parmesan.

Prepare the minced meat by heating the olive oil and frying the thinly sliced onion (and garlic) until golden brown, then incorporating the mince, stirring and breaking up completely so that an intimate mixing and cooking is taking place.  When the mince is thoroughly brown add the tomato puree to the pan and about 150 mL of water.  Stir until thoroughly mixed and simmer until well cooked and the water is absorbed.  Add the spices and seasonings stirring well.  Let the mince cool.

Wash the vegetables, peel the potatoes and slice all of them lengthwise to give oval slices about 3-4 mm thick. Salt them and drain in colander. Heat the vegetable oil until very hot and fry firstly the potatoes until they are golden on both sides.  Drain the oil on absorbent kitchen paper and then lay the cooked potato slices on the bottom of a rectangular baking tray (approx. 35 cm by 25 cm).  Cook the eggplant slices until golden on both sides and drain of the oil.  Lay one layer of the eggplant slices on top of the potatoes.  Repeat with the fried zucchini slices.  Lay any remaining eggplant slices over the zucchini.  Lay the cooked minced meat mixture over the vegetables smoothing and packing to form a smooth surface over the tray.

Melt the butter in a pan and add the flour mixing well all the while with a whisk.  Add the nutmeg and seasonings.  Cook until the mixture is golden.  Add the milk stirring well all the time.  Keep whisking over a low flame until the mixture thickens to the consistency of custard.  Remove from heat and add the eggs one by one, whisking rapidly continuously.  Pour the mixture over the minced meat and top with the grated parmesan.  Cook in moderate oven until the top is golden brown.  Serve with cold retsina or kokkineli wine and a crisp seasonal salad.

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