I love eggplant so much that I could eat them everyday! I eat them for breakfast folded into omelets. I eat them for lunch wedged within a panini. I eat them for dinner roasted with glorious olive oil. I love eggplant so much, that I’m constantly looking for new ways to prepare them.
Growing up my mother made a wonderful Greek dish called Moussaka, it’s when I first fell in love with eggplants. The only problem was a select few liked Moussaka in our household, the girls – my mother, my sister and I. We were out numbered – 4 boys to 3 girls. Boys are silly! So my mother would make it on special occasions, like our Name day and Birthdays.
Today I get to make whatever I want, when I want, the way I want! That’s the beauty in growing up and having your own kitchen. I’ve been thinking… “how can I make my beloved Moussaka recipe for one?” That’s when the idea of Eggplant Feta Béchamel Triangles emerged. Happiness! Now I could eat them whenever, every week or everyday; and now you can too!
Here’s what you’ll need… Oven Temp: 425 degrees, Bake time: 20 minutes. This recipe makes about 30 triangle pieces.
1 – 16 oz package phyllo dough
2 – sticks (1 cup) butter salted
2 – large eggplants
dash of pepper
8 table spoons (1/2 cup) olive oil
1 – 8 oz package of Feta cheese basil & tomato (use what you like)
2 1/2 tablespoons flour (all purpose)
2 tablespoons butter salted
2 cups milk
1 teaspoon salt
dash of nutmeg
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
In a bowl combine room temperature water and 1/4 teaspoon of salt, set aside. Wash eggplants with water and pat dry. Using a peeler, peel the skins from eggplants. Slice eggplants into 1 inch thick, then chop into 1/2 inch cubes. Place eggplant into salted water bath and let stand for 15 minutes. Remove from water and squeeze the eggplant in your hands or in a strainer removing any excess water. This removes any bitterness from the eggplant.
On a baking sheet spread eggplant throughout, drizzle with 6 tablespoons of olive oil, add a dash of salt and pepper to taste, then place in oven to roast for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.
To make your béchamel sauce, in a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden color, about 5 minutes.
In a separate pan heat the milk to almost a boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, let cool and set aside until ready to use.
Rinse feta cheese in cold water to remove any brine. In a small bowl crumble tomato and basil feta cheese. To crumble your feta use the tines of a fork and crumble into small pieces. Coat feta with 2 tablespoons of olive oil, mixing well.
Combine ingredients after they have “cooled”, mixing eggplant, feta and béchamel in a bowl, set aside until ready to use.
In a microwave melt two stick of butter, let cool.
Unroll phyllo dough out on a dry work surface atop of waxed paper. Be sure to completely cover the phyllo dough with a damp towel to keep from drying out and becoming brittle. Using a knife, cut the phyllo lengthwise into 3 strips, and recover phyllo dough with the damp towel. Using a pastry brush, coat the strips of phyllo with melted butter. Place a small spoonful of eggplant filling at the bottom of the pastry dough, about 1 inch from corner. Fold the end over the filling to form a triangle, continue folding to the other end. Fill the remaining strips of dough, place the filled triangles on a the baking sheet keeping them covered with a towel until ready to bake.
Brush the triangles lightly with butter, then bake for 25 minutes, or until golden and crispy. Serve immediately, they taste the best hot. (You can freeze eggplant triangles for up to a month. Be sure to use a layer of waxed paper between each layer to keep them from sticking).
These make a great appetizer, a unique side dish or you can eat them as a meal like I do. I guarantee however you serve them, they will melt in your mouth. Try not to eat them all in one sitting.