A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my kitchen experiments inspired by memories of childhood summers in Greece. The first dish was strapatsáda, a simple tomato and egg dish that I decided to jazz up a bit with Elli & Manos’ Tomato & Feta Greek Flavor Bursts (recipe here).
For me, the Elli & Manos line of veggie spreads epitomizes the smell of my childhood summers in Greece, where vegetables are so rich in aroma and flavor, thanks to the constant bright sunshine. You get that same smell as soon as you open a jar of Elli & Manos spreads, a totally different experience from opening a store-bought jar of tomato sauce, with its overly garlicky and oregano smell (which I’m convinced is there to mask the lack of flavor and aroma in the vegetables themselves!).
Cleaning out my fridge before leaving for Greece led me to play around with another childhood dish, zucchini and eggplant slathered in tomato sauce. In the summers, we always had in our fridge fried zucchini and eggplant slices immersed in tomato sauce. The idea was to keep the dish in the fridge and eat it either as a main dish or as a side to another main dish on those hot summer days when you only need a light cold meal. They tasted even better on the second day, when the tomato sauce really soaked into the veggies.
So there I was, cleaning out my fridge, and I see an open jar of Elli & Manos Tomato & Sweet Red Wine Greek Flavor Burst and some leftover zucchini. Now I’m not a big fan of frying and I definitely didn’t have a lot of time with all the pre-travel stress. So I decided to improvise a bit and it worked brilliantly - I cleaned out the fridge, whipped out an easy and healthy light dish for the family, and remembered once again those wonderful Greek summers. Enjoy the recipe below!
2-3 zucchini and/or eggplants
1 jar of Elli & Manos tomato-based Greek Flavor Bursts, your choice
2-3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 350ºF.
Slice the zucchini and/or eggplants with a mandolin.
Layer half of your sliced vegetables in a ramekin or pyrex dish.
Spread half the jar of Elli & Manos’ spread.
Add the rest of the veggies in a second layer and cover with the rest of the spread.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the veggies are soft.
Note: If you want to add some protein to that dish you can crumble some feta cheese in between the layers and on top, which will give it an extra salty punch and a touch of color.
Great minds think alike!
Our friend Anukriti in Honolulu sent us this picture of her own jazzed up zucchini - she sautéed her zucchini and then spooned over her favorite Elli & Manos spread! Send us your favorite way to play with summer veggies!
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