In France they call them aubergine. The word describes the vegetable and also the deep purple color. In recent years, many more varieties of eggplant have become common at the markets ranging from the size of a man’s thumb to the size of a newborn child; and from almost black in color to palest lavender or white and rosy purple striped. Here, eggplant is prepared in crispy phyllo for a variation on a traditional Turkish appetizer.
Eggplant, Pepper and Feta-Stuffed Phyllo Boreks
Recipe from Daniel Wright adapted for Williams Sonoma Tasting Table
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced into ½-inch pieces
- 1 red bell pepper, diced into ½-inch pieces
- 1 yellow bell pepper, diced into ½-inch pieces
- 1 small Italian eggplant, diced into ½-inch pieces
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- ½ cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and finely chopped
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 box phyllo pastry dough, defrosted
- 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
- In a large skillet set over medium-high heat, add the olive oil. Add the onion, red and yellow peppers and the eggplant and cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are softened and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, then remove the pan from the heat and transfer the vegetables to a large bowl. Crumble the feta on top of the mixture, stir in the thyme leaves and season with salt and pepper. Refrigerate until cooled.
- Preheat the oven to 450°. Place the phyllo dough on the counter, unfold and cover with a damp kitchen towel or paper towels. Set one sheet of phyllo on a cutting board and use a pastry brush to coat the entire sheet with a thin layer of melted butter. Fold the bottom of the sheet in half lengthwise (to make a long, thin horizontal rectangle) and butter again. Fold in half from left to right (like a book) and butter the top sheet. In the center of the folded phyllo, place 3 tablespoons of the vegetable-feta mixture. Tuck in both of the long, vertical edges and roll the dough up from bottom to top. The finished cigar should be about the size of a spring roll. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and brush with more melted butter. Repeat 11 times or until the vegetable-feta mixture is gone.
- Bake until golden brown, about 7 to 8 minutes. Gently turn the boreks over and bake until the other side is golden brown, an additional 3 to 4 minutes. Serve warm.
The versatile eggplant can be enjoyed in so many different ways! Here are just a few, ranging from a sizzling stir-fry to a satisfying sandwich. Vive le aubergine!
Eggplant and Mozzarella Melt – gooey and great with Ludwig’s fresh mozzarella!
Grilled Eggplant, Corn and Tomato Salad – sounds like the perfect summer trio!
Eggplant Arancini – fried to perfection and oh, so tasty!
Deconstructed Eggplant Parmesan Sandwich – a classic, with a casual twist!
Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan – lovely to look at, delightful to eat!
Garden Style Eggplant Parmesan – Market-style!
Stir-Fried Eggplant – quick and easy, and full of flavor!
Honey-Roasted Eggplant with Chiles – sweet and spicy, terrifically tasty!