Tsakonian gastronomy

Tsakonian eggplant

It is the only eggplant that has a sweet taste.
Apparently it is due to particular characteristics of the local soil and the microclimate of the area.
The tsakonian eggplants don’t have any curves, they are elongated, 20-25cm length, diameter 4.6cm and they are thicker in the middle.
The tsakonian eggplant ripens earlier than the others and the fruits are used for variety of cooking combinations. The most famous product is sweet tsakonian aubergin.
From March 1996 the Tsakonian aubergine has been defined, among other 317 products, as PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), guaranteeing to the producers of Leonidio exclusive cultivation of the variety of eggplant under the strict standards of production.
Source: Local Quality Pact Parnona

Rolled eggplant with cheese and bacon

melitzana 1

Ingredients:

  • 8 large tsakonian eggplants
  • 30 slices of edam cheese or yellow cheese that you prefer
  • 30 slices of bacon
  • 3 large red fresh tomatoes or a can of tomatoes
  • 3 cloves garlic, 3-4 sprigs of parsley or mint, oil for frying , salt, pepper, a bit of sugar and cinnamon

Implementation:

Wash the eggplants well, dry them and cut them into thin slices. Salt them and fry them in hot oil until they get brown on both sides. Take bacon slices and fry them in fresh oil until wilted. Then take a slice of bacon, a slice of eggplant and a slice of cheese and wrap it in a small roll. Put a toothpick in the middle to keep all three ingredients together.
Place the roll in the baking tray by putting each roll next to one another in rows until you fill it.

For the sauce

Wash the tomatoes, peel them, and put them in a food processor (mixer). Peel the garlic also and put it together with tomatoes and mash them.

Put the tomatoes in a small pan with very little oil, three tablespoons of chopped parsley or mint. Add salt and pepper and a bit of sugar and cinnamon.
Boil the sauce for 3-5 minutes on low heat and then pour it over the eggplants in a baking tray .Finally put the baking tray in the oven for 20-30 minutes more at 180 degrees.

Serve warm.
Eleni Trohani – 4th Celebration of Tsakonian Eggplant – Prize, Leonidio

Fried eggplants with garlic dip

Ingredients:

  • 4 tsakonian eggplants
  • 10 potatoes
  • 300 gr. walnuts
  • 1 bowl of breadcrumbs
  • 1 cup of vinegar
  • oil
  • 5-6 cloves of garlic

Implementation:

Prepare the garlic dip: wash the potatoes, cook them and mashed them. Clean the walnuts and mix them with mashed potatoes, breadcrumbs, vinegar, and chopped garlic and pour enough oil so the dip thickens.
Wash and clean the eggplants and cut them into slices .Fry them in plenty of oil. You may also flour them. Served on a platter alone and accompanied by a bowl with the garlic dip.
Recipe by Mrs.. P. Lagomitzi, Leonidion

Salad with grilled eggplant and haloumi

Ingredients:

  • 2 eggplants
  • 1 salad
  • 200g haloumi cheese
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt and fresh ground pepper

Implementation:

Wash the salad, dry it and cut it into large pieces. Put a salad in a bowl or hand out individual plates. Wash the tomatoes, cut them in half and toss them with the salad leaves. Add salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Meanwhile peel the eggplants, cut them into slices, salt them and cook them in a frying pan or grill. Also bake haloumi cheese until golden brown Add eggplant and cheese to the salad just before serving.
The salad is most enjoyable when the cheese is still warm.

Aubergine imam

melitzana 2

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 aubergines
  • 4-5 onions
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 3 to 4 fresh tomatoes
  • 1.5 cup oil
  • Salt-pepper

Implementation:

Wash the eggplants, and after remove the stalks. Scribe them along with 4 scratches. In frying pan put enough oil and fry them moderately. Pull them out and drain them well from the oil with a towel. Cut the onions into slices, finely chop the garlic and parsley and sauté them in a pan. After that peel the tomatoes, cut them into cubes and add them to the herb mixture. Add little salt and pepper and leave it on the fire for a while.

We place the aubergines on a baking sheet and we fill the scratches with the herb mixture and the rest of the mixture we pour over the top. Last but not least we strew some grated cheese and we bake it for 30 minutes more.
Recipe by Mrs.. M. Tsoumakas, Leonidion.

Eggplant salad with walnuts

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of tsakonian eggplant
  • 2 cups of walnuts
  • 1 cup of olive oil
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic
  • Vinegar
  • Salt and pepper

Implementation:

Bake the eggplants on the grill. Peel them and cut them into pieces and throw them into the blender together with the walnuts, garlic, salt and pepper. Beat all together until they melt and add a bit of vinegar and olive oil.
Serve the salad in a deep bowl and garnish it with chopped walnut.