In Greece, vegetables such as eggplants, zucchini and peppers are at their peak during the summer months. These vegetables usually served fried, accompanied by tzatziki or some other Greek spread. But! I prefer my vegetables grilled, tender and juicy, topped with a bit of crumbled Feta or Katiki cheese.
Katiki is a creamy, soft cheese with a slightly sour and salty taste. It is usually eaten as an appetizer, spread on bread. I use Katiki for this recipe, but in case you can’t find it, you can substitute it with the same amount of crumbled feta cheese mixed with 3-4 tablespoons of Greek full fat yogurt.
I usually make this dish during August. However, this year I spent the entire August in Germany. As you can imagine I really missed Greece during that period. So when I went back a couple of weeks ago (even though it was September), my daily routine mostly consisted of sea swimming and good summer food.
This favorite summer meal was the fist thing I cooked during those mini holidays and of course I am sharing it with you.
- 1 shallot, diced fine
- ½ cup brown lentils
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup olive oil
- 1 eggplant, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
- 1 round zucchini, cut into ½-inch-thick slices
- 2 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
- 2 tbsp capers, drained
- 2-3 oregano sprigs
- 6 tbsp Katiki or crumbled Feta cheese mixed with Greek yogurt
- salt, pepper to taste
- Prepare the Lentils: In a saucepan, heat 2 tsp olive oil over medium heat. Add the diced shallots and stir them around until they become translucent and soft, about 3 minutes. Add the rinsed lentils to the pan and stir them around in the oil and shallots. Slowly add the water to the pan, bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 15 to 20 minutes or until lentils are tender. Drain lentils, season with salt/pepper and stir in a tbsp of olive oil to keep them individual.
- Prepare the Vegetables: Place a grill pan over medium heat and let it fully preheat for about 5 minutes. Brush the vegetables with ¼ cup of the oil to coat lightly and sprinkle the vegetables with salt and pepper. Working in batches, lay the vegetables on the grill pan, spacing them evenly. Grill the vegetables until soft and tender lightly charred all over. Grill the eggplant for about 5 to 7 minutes per side, the zucchini for about 4 to 6 minutes and the bell peppers for about 6-8 minutes.
- Transfer and arrange the vegetables on a platter in one layer, making sure they don't sit on top of each other, otherwise they will steam and go soggy.
- To serve, divide the lentils among 2 plates, pressing down on them with the back of a spoon to make a flat surface. Stack the roasted vegetables on top of the flattened lentils. Start with a slice of eggplant, then spread some Katiki (or Feta), sprinkle with capers, then add a slice of zucchini, etc etc..
- Drizzle each stack with 1 tbsp of olive olive and sprinkle with the fresh oregano.
- You can serve warm or completely cold as a salad.
recipe inspired by The First Mess.