In this meatless version of the classic Greek dish, bulgur wheat stands in for ground meat in a spiced-tomato filling surrounded by eggplant layers and topped with a béchamel sauce. The eggplant and bulgur pack this dish with fiber. Garnish with chopped fresh parsley.
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, undrained
1 tablespoon butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
2 tablespoons finely grated fresh Romano cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
How to Make It
Preheat broiler to high.
Brush eggplant slices with 1 tablespoon oil. Place half of eggplant on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; broil 5 inches from heat for 5 minutes on each side or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining eggplant. Set eggplant aside.
Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add remaining 1 tablespoon oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add chopped onion to pan; sauté 8 minutes. Add garlic; sauté 1 minute. Add bulgur; cook 3 minutes or until bulgur is lightly toasted, stirring frequently. Add ground allspice, cinnamon, and cloves; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly. Stir in vegetable broth, oregano, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 20 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook 1 minute, stirring constantly with a whisk until well blended. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer 5 minutes or until thickened, stirring frequently. Stir in cheese and salt. Remove from heat, and cool slightly. Add egg, stirring well with a whisk.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Arrange half of eggplant in an 11 x 7-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spread the bulgur mixture evenly over eggplant; arrange remaining eggplant over bulgur mixture. Top with milk mixture. Bake at 350° for 40 minutes, and remove from oven. Increase oven temperature to 475°. Return dish to oven for 4 minutes or until the top is browned. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.
This was absolutely fantastic! I did not increase the spices, on the contrary, I slightly recused the allspice, cloves and cinnamon. I would add salt though to the tomato sauce.
I will definitely make this again.
This has some good points, but I will have to change a lot when I make it again. The photo shows a big 11 x 17" pan, but the recipe makes a 7" x 11" pan. I followed the directions for the eggplant and will not do it again: it turned to mush. No need to broil it in the first step. I didn't peel it because I had nice fresh eggplant from the garden.
I doubled the spices, per suggestions from other reviewers. I found the bulgur mixture to be too wet, and would cook it down more if I made this again. I also doubled the bechamel sauce because I knew one cup would not be enough. (Again, the photo is deceptive.) The taste was good, but the eggplant was way overcooked. I served it with a garden salad.
This was pretty good. I doubled the spices based on other reviews. I also added shitake mushrooms to the bulgur. If I make this again I'll use portobella mushrooms instead because the shitakes were too mild. I only used shitakes because they didn't have any organic portobellas at the grocery store I was at. I think the portobellas will add a nice "meatiness" to the dish. The bachemel is nice and light, a perfect topping to the dish! I doubled the recipe too because I needed 8 servings, so I used a 9x13 pan and needed to cook it a little longer to make sure the bachemel properly set.
We're trying to eat vegetarian at least once a week so I'm always on the lookout for new recipes. This is very time consuming and it makes way than 4 servings. I found the taste to be fine but i like eggplant, not sure the family felt the same. I also increased the bulgur I should have also increased the sauce a bit as it did not quite cover the pan. 2.5 lbs of eggplant is too much, I probably only used about 1.5 lbs and had more than enough. I sprayed the eggplant with pan spray instead of using oil and it worked fine for the broiler.
Not sure I'll make it again.
This ended up tasting absolutely amazing. Like other reviewers I doubled the spices and added an extra 1/4 of bulgur. I also sauteed 2 sliced red peppers with the onions to up the veg content, used dried oregano instead of fresh, and added a bit (~ 1/2 tbs) of extra cheese to the bechamel and a sprinkle right before serving on the plate.
Next time I would not bother to peel the eggplant as we like the skin and I'm not 100% sure broiling them before is necessary. I think just cooking it all together would keep the eggplant a bit more firm - our preference. It is a bit of work for a weeknight dish, better time management and a few shortcuts, like not peeling the eggplant, would make this workable as a weeknight meal.
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