Friday, June 27, 2008

Cipolline in Agro Dolce (Sweet-and-Sour Onions)

Here is another classic Piemontese recipe from Brian.

These show up at almost every meal in Piemonte. Sometimes they’re a cold appetizer in their own right, but they can also become an ingredient in other dishes, such as Insalata Russa (Potato and Tuna Salad).

4 servings

1 pound small onions
1 cup red wine vinegar
½ cup olive oil
3 tablespoons sugar

½ teaspoon salt

NOTE: In Italy, cipolline—small, flat onions—are used; substitute pearl onions if you must.

Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil and blanch the cipolline for 3 minutes Drain cool, and remove the skins.

In a saucepan, bring the vinegar to a boil and add the oil, sugar, salt, and onions. Lower the heat simmer until the onions are fork tender and the sauce is reduced to a syrup consistency, about 30 minutes.

Serve hot or cold.

Pictures courtesy of Brian Yarvin and Wikimedia Commons.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Zucchini in Carpione (Zucchini Marinated in Vinegar and Wine )

This week Brian Yarvin, author of Cucina Piemontese, explores the wonderful cooking from the Piemonte region, located in the northeast corner of Italy, on Hippocrene Cooks.

Summer in my native Piedmont can be hot, even in the mountains where my family and I spent July and August every year. One dish that never failed to appear at the dinner table in the summer was "zucchini in carpione", a refreshing vegetable dish and an excellent alternative to salad and tomatoes to fight the heat. When the body and mind crave coolness, this cold dish of zucchini marinated in vinegar, sage, onion, and garlic will be most pleasing.

4 servings

½ cup olive oil
1 Pound zucchini, sliced thin lengthwise
1 large white onion, sliced thin
2 garlic cloves, sliced thin
1 cup white wine vinegar

½ cup dry white wine

2 teaspoons whole peppercorns
1 teaspoon whole allspice
4 bunches sage leaves

3 bay leaves

Begin by browning the zucchini slices in the oil using a frying pan over medium heat. Drain the slices and blot them with paper towels. Set them aside and reserve the oil. When you’ve finished, sauté the onions in the same oil. When they become transparent, add the vinegar and spices and cook together for 4 minutes on high heat.

Lay the browned zucchini slices flat in a glass baking dish, with the onions in an even layer on top of the zucchini, add the cooked vinegar/wine/onion/spice mixture and refrigerate for at least 5 to 6 hours.

Pictures courtesy of Brian Yarvin and Wikimedia Commons.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Honey and Beekeeping in Slovenia - Škofjeloški Medeni Kruhki (Honey Biscuits)

Our last entry from Heike Milhench, guest blogger for the week and Hippocrene's expert on Slovenian culture and cuisine:

Čebela je kot beseda; ima med in želo.
A bee is like a word; it has honey and a sting.
- Slovenian Proverb

Man has depended on honey as a food and a medicine for thousands of years. However, not until the nineteenth century did modern beekeeping develop as we know it today in Slovenia. The first mention of beehives made of boards is in The Glory of the Duchy of Carniola written by the Slovenian scientist Janez Vajkard Valvasor in 1689. In the mid-eighteenth century, honeycomb boxes were invented in Kranjić, allowing the combs to be moved like drawers. This was an important turning point in apiculture. Anton Janša, a well-known Slovenian teacher of apiculture, developed the method of smoking bees out of their hive to collect the honey.

Beekeeping in Slovenia has contributed to the country’s most popular form of folk art, with the creation of painted beehive doors, panjske končnice. Dating as far back as the mid-eighteenth century, these painted wooden panels were made at monasteries and originally depicted religious scenes. Between 1820 and 1880, panjske končnice became all the rage and the scenes became profane, depicting humorous or satirical scenes from Slovenian folklore. As an example, a traditional beehive door depicts the devil sharpening a woman’s tongue, and two farmers fighting over a cow, while the lawyer milks the cow. The panels were painted by professional artists and amateurs alike. They used paint prepared with linseed oil, ensuring their longevity. This form of art ended in the early nineteenth century, when larger hives were built. The traditional-style panels are still made today for sale as souvenirs and gifts.

Bees and honey are still important in today’s Slovenia. Honey is produced and sold all over the country for use in bread, cakes and cookies. Beeswax is used to make decorative candles. Mead (medeno žganje) is a honey brandy, which is considered to have medicinal purposes. Pollen, propolis, and royal jelly are all used in homeopathic medicine. Many popular cake and cookie recipes use honey, such as this recipe for Honey Biscuits:

The Bee List: mead, or honey wine, and wax candles

Makes 60 cookies

4 cups all-purpose flour
1½ cups honey
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
¼ teaspoon ground cloves
¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg

Grated lemon peel and juice from 1 lemon
3 tablespoons baking powder
4 tablepoons oil or butter, melted
¼ cup rum or whiskey

Prepare the dough for the cookies. Sift together the flour and baking powder into a large bowl.
Heat the honey until liquid. Add the honey, spices, lemon rind and juice, oil and whiskey to the flour mixture. Stir with a wooden spoon until a dough is formed.Roll the dough out to a floured surface, and knead well.
Return the dough to the bowl. Cover and let rest at room temperature for two days.
On the third day, place the dough in a baking tin and let it sit in a warm oven (100°F or so) for 45 minutes or until the dough is softened.
On a floured surface, roll the dough out until it is ¼-inch thick.
Using a heart shaped (or other style) cookie cutter, cut the dough and place the cookies on a well-greased cookie sheet.
Bake at 300°F for 15 minutes.
After 10 minutes of baking, remove the cookies from the oven and brush them with honey heated with a little water. Return to the oven for the rest of their baking time.
Decorate with frosting as you wish.
Store in a tightly closed container. They are hard, but will soften a little if they are stored in a humid place.

Pictures courtesy of Heike Milhench and Wikimedia Commons.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Fried Olives (Ocvrte olive)

Heike finishes her marathon of Slovenian appetizers with a batch of fried olives:

Fried Olives make a great snack, and are served at Slovenian wine vineyards during wine tasting, to cleanse the palette. They are delicious made with a cornmeal batter, and are a hit at any cocktail party.

Makes 36 small or 24 medium-size fried olives

2 ½ ounces olives, pitted (approximately 36 olives or 24 medium-size olives), pitted, rinsed, and patted dry
1 egg
½ cup cornmeal
¼ teaspoon salt
Olive oil, for frying

Beat the egg in a shallow bowl, with a teaspoon of water.
Pour the cornmeal into another shallow bowl. Mix in the salt.
Coat the bottom of a skillet with olive oil. Heat the oil on medium heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
One by one, take each olive and roll in the egg mixture, then in the cornmeal mixture, until the olive is covered in cornmeal.
Fry each olive in the oil for 5 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned on all sides. With a spatula, roll the olives around periodically so that they brown evenly.
Remove from the pan and dry on a paper towel. Serve immediately.

Fried olives being served at a wine tasting at Movia Vineyards.

Images courtesy of Heike Milhench and Wikimedia Commons.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Zucchini Fritters (Ocvrt jajčevec)

Another Slovenian appetizer, straight from Heike's kitchen:

Zuchinni Fritters, showing the Italian influence on Slovenian cuisine, are a delicious treat. Served with a salad, they also make a nice lunch.

Makes 24 small fritters; 12 medium-size fritters

1 pound zucchini (2 or 3 medium-size), trimmed and grated
¼ cup all-purpose flour
¼ cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1 egg, slightly beaten
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
¼ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil, for frying
Optional garnishes: sour cream; Parmesan cheese, grated; chopped fresh parsley or basil

Place the grated zucchini in a large bowl. Add the flour, Parmesan cheese, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Stir until you have formed a thick batter. Add an additional tablespoon or two of flour if necessary to get the right consistency.
Pour olive oil into a large heavy-bottomed skillet until the oil is ½ inch deep. Heat over medium heat. Heat until the oil sizzles when water is sprinkled in the pan.
Place large spoonfuls of batter into the hot oil, and flatten them with a spatula, not letting the fritters touch. Cook for 5 to 8 minutes, or until the fritters are browned on one side. Then flip them over, and cook them for 3 to 5 minutes, or until they are browned on the other side. When the fritters are browned evenly on both sides, remove them from the pan, and drain on paper towels. Repeat with the remaining batter.
Serve immediately; they will get soggy if you try to keep them warm. Serve with sour cream, additional grated Parmesan cheese, fresh herbs, or plain, as you wish.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Fried Small Fish (Pečene Sardele)

The first of three recipes, in Heike's Slovenian appetizer series:

In Slovenia and Croatia, fried small fish, whether it be sardines, mackerel or smelts, make a wonderful appetizer with a cold beer.

Serves 4
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg
½ teaspoon salt
Freshly ground pepper
Olive oil, for frying
1/2 pound fresh sardines or smelts
Lemon wedges

Beat the egg in a shallow dish with a teaspoon of water.
Place flour in a second shallow bowl. Mix in the salt and pepper.
Coat the bottom of a skillet with ¼ inch layer of olive oil. Heat on medium heat until the oil starts to sputter.
Take each fish and roll it in the egg mixture, then roll in the flour mixture, until it is covered in flour.
Fry each fish for 3 to 4 minutes, or until it is browned on one side, then flip it over and cook 3 to 4 minutes on the other side, or until it is browned on the other side.
Remove from the pan and dry on a paper towel.
Sprinkle with freshly squeezed lemon juice and serve immediately.

Picture (Head Chef at Grand Hotel Toplice, in Bled, frying trout) courtesy of Heike Milhench.

Slovenian Appetizers: Lightly Fried and Delicious

Heike continues taking us on a tour of the culinary gems of Slovenia, with an introduction to three Slovenian appetizers. The recipes for each of these dishes looked so delicious that we decided it would a travesty to put them all together in just one posting and will, instead, be posting one a day for the next three days.

Here's Heike's introduction to Slovenian appetizers:

In Slovenia and other parts of Central Europe, fried appetizers make tasty treats. Whereas in the US where the term “fried food” has a negative connotation, in Europe, food is fried lightly in a small amount of oil with a flour or cornmeal batter. The results are delicious, and not overly heavy or filling.


All three recipes will be posted soon, we promise! If you can't wait, though, you can use the map below to refresh your knowledge of Slovenian geography, in case you want to trek to find these dishes at their source:

Photos courtesy of Heike Milhench. Map copyrighted by David Liuzzo.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Arno's Cream of Mushroom Soup (Gobova kremna juha)

This week Heike Milhench, author of Flavors of Slovenia, takes Hippocrene Cooks on a trip to the Slovenian town of Bled, where she discovers a memorable soup at a local restaurant.

Bled is a picturesque town in the foothills of the Julian Alps in Northern Slovenia. A spa town at the turn of the century, it is a wonderful place to spend the weekend if you enjoy hiking, golf, swimming, or lounging by the pool. It also has beautiful old villas, some of which are now quaint hotels and restaurants. An additional treat is the friendliness and the openness of the Slovenian people.

During my first visit to Bled with an old friend of mine, we asked the gentleman at the hotel for a local place to go for a meal and a cold beer. He steered us in the direction of
Gostilna pri Planincu. The minute we walked in, we knew we had found our place. Located in a building dating 1903, the pub and restaurant is very cozy. The bar is decorated with local art, car license plates from around the world, and motorcycle posters. It is truly a local restaurant, and on Sunday afternoons the restaurant is packed with families from Bled enjoying a leisurely meal. Local wines are served, as are local beers on tap. The fare is simple, but delicious, using local ingredients from Slovenia and northern Italy.

Gostilna pri Planincu is a third generation family business, currently owned and managed by Arno Pucher. Arno has traveled the world (hence the license plates) and enjoys entertaining guests from foreign countries. As soon as he heard us speaking English, he bought us a beer, and joined our table. A few hours later we were still talking and laughing with Arno, now enjoying his homemade blueberry schnapps, and listening to stories of his successful motorcycle races.

The following recipe comes from Arno. It is the signature dish of
Gostilna pri Planincu and you must try it. You may use a mix of wild and cultivated mushrooms–feel free to experiment! It is a rich recipe. If you prefer to make it lighter, you may substitute milk for some of the cream, and skip the whipped cream on top (although this truly is a treat!)

Dober tek!

Serves 8
2 tablespoons butter
2 onions, peeled and chopped
3 - 4 cloves garlic, minced
1½ pounds mushrooms (button, or a combination of portobello, shiitake, or oyster)
½ teaspoons salt
4 cups beef or vegetable broth
2 cups assorted vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower, potatoes) cut into small pieces
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon dried sage
¼ teaspoon dried tarragon
¼ teaspoon powdered mustard
Freshly ground black pepper
1 cup sour cream
2 - 3 tablespoons all purpose flour
½ cups cream
¼ cup of chopped parsley, for garnish
1 cup whipping cream, whipped, no sugar added (optional)

Melt the butter in a large saucepan. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring continuously, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the mushrooms and salt. Continue to cook and stir over medium heat.

Once the mushrooms are tender, after about 10 minutes, add the beef stock, vegetables and herbs. Cook over medium heat for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the vegetables are tender.

In the meantime, in a small bowl, combine the sour cream and the flour.

Slowly add the sour cream mixture to the hot soup, stirring continuously. Add the cream, stirring continuously.

Add salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste.

Remove the soup from the heat. Serve in bowls and top each with a spoonful of unsweetened whipped cream and a sprinkle of the parsley. Serve immediately with fresh bread and butter.

Pictures courtesy of Heike Milhench.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Poori (Poori Bread)

Another recipe from Taste of Nepal by Jyoti Pathak.

Poori, pronounced "poo-ree," is a deep-fried puffed bread, generally prepared from wheat flour. The dough can be prepared in advance, but the rolling and frying should be done just before serving. Poori are fried in bubbling bot oil and puff up into steam-filled balloons. Poori tastes best if eaten piping hot, puffed with a crispy outside and a moist inside. Though it starts to lose its puffiness and becomes somewhat chewy and tough when cold, poori is still quite tasty when eaten that way.

It is one of the most popular breads and a classic accompaniment to any Nepali meal, and it is also eaten during family celebrations and religious festivals. It is prepared for naivedya, sacred food that is ritualistically offered to deities during worship. At the same time, it is often packed for picnics and long journey as a good traveling bread.

Makes 12 to 14 (5-inch) breads.

2 1/2 cups atta flour (See Note below) or 1/2 cup whole wheat flour mixed with 1 1/2 cups all-purpose white flour, plus an extra 1/2 cup for rolling
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 to 3 cups vegetable oil

(Note: Atta Flour is also known as chapatti or durham whole wheat flour. This fine-textured flour is processed from low-gluten wheat and used in making most unleavened breads. Since this flour is low in gluten, it is easier to knead and roll.)

In a medium-size bowl, combine the flour and salt. Add 1 tablespoon of oil and mix by hand until all ingredients are well combined. Gradually add 3/4 to 1 cup of water, to form a dough that holds together. Knead in the bowl until the dough is smooth and elastic, about 5 minutes. The dough should be moderately stiff. If the dough is too sticky, add 1 or 2 tablespoons of flour; if it feels too firm, add a little water and knead some more. Cover with a plastic wrap or damp kitchen towel and set aside at room temperature for 25 to 30 minutes.

When the dough is well rested, place it on a flat surface and knead it until pliable, about 5 minutes. Roll the dough into a rope about 2 inches in diameter and divide it into twelve to fourteen equal portions, Roll each portion into a ball and coat it with a little flour. Flatten the balls with a rolling pin and roll into 4 to 5-inch, circles, about 1/4 inch thick. Keep the dough covered with damp towels while working. Place the circles on a tray so they are not touching each other.

Heat the oil in a deep skillet over medium-high heat until it reaches 350° to 374° (see Note below). Test for readiness by placing a small piece of dough into the hot oil. If it bubbles and rises to the surface immediately, it is ready. Place the circles into the oil, one piece at a time. The dough will sink to the bottom, but will immediately rise up. Use light pressure with the back of a slotted spoon to submerge the dough until it puffs. Then, turn it over to brown the second side. The second side of poori is slightly heavier, so fry it longer until golden. Remove the poori with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels. Repeat the procedure with the remaining dough. Serve immediately, if possible, or keep warm, covered, until ready serve.

Note: While frying, be careful to keep the oil at 350
° to 375° for even cooking. If the oil is too hot, the poori will brown too fast and may remain doughy add uncooked inside. If the oil is not hot enough, it will not puff up and the dough will absorb a lot of fat.

Pictures courtesy of Jyoti Pathak.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Asparagus Salad (Saandheko Kurelo)

Guest blogging for Hippocrene Cooks this week is Jyoti Pathak, a founding member of the Association of Nepalese in America. She headed the cookbook committee of the association and spearheaded the production of the first Nepali cookbook self-published in Americas in 1986. Jyoti authored Taste of Nepal, which has been chosen as the “Best Foreign Cuisine Book” by Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2008. This week showcases two appetizing recipes from the well-received volume.

Asparagus is one of the most delectable spring vegetables and is considered the king of vegetables in Nepal. My husband and I have been growing asparagus in our home garden for several years and have been cooking it in various different ways. I like to prepare this dish when the freshest asparagus of the season comes out. This dish is prepared by boiling the asparagus, giving it a cold-water bath to preserve the green color, and pairing it with spices. Although it is called a salad dish, I serve it more as a side vegetable dish with freshly boiled rice, lentils, other sautéed vegetables, and warm Nepali breads.

Makes 4 to 6 servings

2 1/2 pounds asparagus, trimmed & sliced
diagonally into 1 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
1 green onion (white and light green parts),
thinly sliced
1 fresh mild or hot green chili pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
1 1/2 teaspoons minced fresh ginger
3 whole Szechwan pepper (timmur),
finely ground with a mortar and pestle
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon or lime juice

(Note: Szechwan pepper (timmur) is also known as Nepali pepper. This is a highly pungent, sharp black pepper, but it has an entirely different flavor and is, in fact, not related to the black pepper family. It has a rough, wrinkled, and uneven surface and the aroma lies in the split covering of the pod, not in the seed. Nepalese describes its taste as per-peraune, which means "biting taste with an anesthetic feeling on the tongue." It should be used only in moderation; otherwise, it will overpower the dish.)

Bring a medium-size pot of salted water to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and cook until crisp-tender, about 5 minutes. Do not overcook, as they will become waterlogged and tasteless. Immediately drain the asparagus in a colander, and run cold water over it to halt the cooking. Place the asparagus in a medium-size bowl and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the cilantro, green onion, green chili, oil, garlic, ginger, and
timmur and mix well. Add the spice mixture to the asparagus and toss gently to mix well. Taste and add the salt and lemon juice, if necessary. Cover the bowl and allow the flavors to set for at least 10 minutes at room temperature. Transfer the asparagus to a bowl. If you are not serving it right away, cover and refrigerate until serving time.

Pictures courtesy of Jyoti Pathak.

Friday, June 6, 2008

Yogurtlu Havuc (Carrots with Garlic and Yogurt)

Think that carrots are only for donkeys, or for giving your eyesight a boost? This recipe from A Taste of Turkish Cuisine may just change your tune.

Sheilah provides some more background on Turkish food in general:

Many other cultures have left their mark on Turkish cuisine. Arab influences, especially in the south and southeastern parts of Anatolia included many spices—hot peppers in particular. The Persian, Hittite, and Byzantine Empires introduced different vegetables like cabbage, cauliflower, and parsley—all of Mediterranean origin. Turkish cuisine was also greatly influenced by the Persian practice of combining meats and fruits as well as vegetable stews (yakhni). The word “kebab” is of Persian origin. Pilav (pilaf) is the Turkish version of pulau (Persian). This confluence of Turkish and Iranian elements gradually led to a cuisine that the Moguls transplanted to India, where it was further enhanced and altered.

Serves 8

7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 pound carrots, coarsely grated
3 to 4 cloves garlic
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup Drained Yogurt
2 teaspoons Aleppo pepper or paprika
Olives, optional

In a 3-quart pot, heat 5 tablespoons of the oil and sauté the onions, stirring over medium heat for 5 minutes. Do not let them brown or burn. Add the carrots, stirring to mix well, and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

Crush the garlic and salt in a mortar and pestle. Place the cooled carrots in a large bowl and add the drained yogurt and the garlic mixture. Mix well and place in a serving dish. Combine the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the paprika and drizzle in a design over the top of the carrots, decorate with olives if desired. Serve at room temperature or chilled.

Pictures courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Have pictures of your own attempts to cook this, or another recipe on our blog? Send them in, and we'll post them!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Imam Bayildi (The Imam Fainted)

Guest blogging for Hippocrene Cooks this week is Sheilah Kaufman, food editor of Jewish Women International's website and a contributing food writer to numerous publications, including Vegetarian Times Magazine and The Washington Post. Sheilah co-authored (with Nur Ilkin) A Taste of Turkish Cuisine, and this week presents two recipes from the much-celebrated kitchens of Turkey.

Some say that three major cuisines exist in the world: Turkish, Chinese, and French. At the crossroads of the Far East and the Mediterranean, Turkey has been the cradle of many civilizations throughout centuries. Its cuisine, which can be traced back more than 1400 years, fully reflects this rich historical background. While many well-known national cuisines rely on one basic element (e.g. French cuisine is characterized by sauces), there is no dominant ingredient or technique in the Turkish kitchen. Eggplant alone can be prepared in over 40 different ways.

There is a story that tells of a famous Turkish priest or imam who was so delighted with his wife’s eggplant creation that he fainted from pure pleasure. There are many versions of this dish. If possible, prepare this a day or two ahead so the flavors can mellow. This is one of Turkey’s most famous dishes.

Serves 6

6 Italian eggplants, 5 to 6 inches long
canola oil for frying
3 medium onions
½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 cup chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 teaspoon sugar
½ cup chopped canned tomatoes
1 large tomato, sliced
1 green bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed, sliced into
½-inch strips

3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley

Wash the eggplants and remove the leaves from around the stem, but leave the stem on. With a sharp knife, leaving a 1
½-inch border of peel at the tops and bottoms of the eggplants, remove the peel from the rest of the eggplants. Cut a thin slice off the bottoms of the eggplants so they are flat. With a small sharp knife make a deep slit lengthwise, from the top of the peeled area to the bottom of the peeled area, completely through the eggplants. Sprinkle the eggplants with salt and let them stand for 20 to 30 minutes. Rinse with cold water and dry them on a kitchen towel.

Place 2 to 3 inches of canola oil in a 5-to 6-quart pot or deep fryer and heat on high heat for about 10 minutes. Cook 2 to 4 eggplants at a time, depending on the size of the pot. Roll them frequently so they will lightly brown on all sides and cook evenly. Remove them from the oil when soft and let them drain in a fine sieve or colander. Cook the remaining eggplants the same way. Lay the cooked eggplants in one or two large oven-proof skillets with the cut side up. Using a spoon, carefully open the slit to widen it.

Cut the onions in half and slice into very thin semicircles. Cut again in the opposite direction so thin strips are formed. Heat the olive oil and sauté the onions and garlic. Add the parsley, sugar, 1 to 2 teaspoons salt and canned tomatoes. Mix well. Stir and cook over high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Open the slits in the eggplants with a spoon while the eggplants are still hot and stuff the long slash of the eggplant. Press mixture down gently as you fill the eggplants.

Preheat oven to 400ºF
. Pour 1 cup water around the sides of the eggplants in the pan. Garnish each eggplant with a slice of tomato and strip of green pepper on top. Cover and cook over medium heat and bring to a boil. Place pan(s), uncovered, in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, let cool and serve, or cover and chill. Garnish with parsley.

Pictures courtesy of Sheilah Kaufman and Wikimedia Commons.