Italian food in Greece

The best Italian food I have ever had was in Greece! It took me several days on Mykonos Island before I had a eureka moment and realized Italy is next door and that’s probably why the Greeks do Italian so well. I always crammed for Geography in college and dismissed what I learned to recycle those brain cells for another exam. Stick with me and you’ll witness lots more “I wonder what else I don’t know” moments.

Lemon ricotta eggplant stack with potato gnocchi and greens

Sauce

Add to your pan:

1/4 cup heavy cream

3 tbsp salted butter

1/2 tsp lemon juice

Let thicken and add 1/2 cup of water and one chicken & herbs boullion cube, crumbled. Whisk and turn off heat.

Add a tbsp of Parmesan/Romano shaker cheese and turn heat back on low after stirring. (Do you not call it “Shaker Cheese?”

Eggplant

Peel and Horizontally cut the eggplant in half.

Slice eggplant into 1/4 inch slices.

Mix 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1/2 cup water with one egg and whisk.

Soak slices a few at a time in mixture and then pour 2 cups of Italian breadcrumbs into another bowl. Dredge your wet eggplant slices in the breadcrumbs.

Cook eggplant in air fryer or pan fry and set aside. I use the recommended settings on the side of my machine, so 390 degrees and turn once until they are brown enough for your liking. 5-7 minutes may just do it. I always have to spray both sides with pan or olive oil spray so that things actually brown and crisp like I want.

Gnocchi

Cook Gnocchi per package instructions. I used a half of a 17.6 oz package to serve two. Boil water with a healthy shake of cajun seasoning and add gnocchi once it’s boiling. Watch that pot because it can boil over quickly. True story, ugh!! Once the gnocchi surface, strain them well and set aside.

Holy cow it’s good so far!! Test your eggplant in the sauce. Boom!

Start a tiny pot on low and add 3/4 cup of the ricotta. As it softens, stir in 1/2 tsp of Italian seasoning. My favorite is actually Cavender’s Greek seasoning.

Add 2 tsp more shaker cheese to thicken the lemon sauce. Turn off the heat and let it thicken for about 10 minutes. I keep my eggplant warm on a ceramic plate with our vintage plate warmer set to normal. It’s the best kitchen helper I have!

Next, I assembled my stacks using ricotta and sauce. I added Muenster cheese slices to to the top of the eggplant stacks and let us melt under broil for about 3-4 minutes. Keep an eye on the broiler so you don’t blacken your stacks!

Greens

Pop open a can of southern style greens and microwave in a bowl for about a minute or so. Hey, I don’t have all day to simmer the real deal.

This was my take on a short-lived vegetarian diet. I also made Parmesan crusted chicken for my husband, seen atop the plate. He did love the eggplant also, which is a big deal since he’s super picky about it. Win!

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