2000s Recipes + Menus

Eggplant and Walnut Phyllo Pie

Serves 6 to 8
  • Active time:1 hr
  • Start to finish:3 hr
May 2008
Panfried eggplant, walnuts, and cheese melt into each other and make a rich filling between crisp layers of phyllo in this hearty, meat–free pie.
  • 3 (1-lb) eggplants, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch-thick rounds
  • About 1 1/2 cups olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium leeks (white and pale green parts only)
  • 2 cups coarsely grated graviéra or sharp white Cheddar (5 oz)
  • 3/4 cup coarsely grated Kefalotyri or Pecorino Romano (2 1/2 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cups walnuts (5 1/2 oz), chopped
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 20 (12-by 7-inch) phyllo sheets, thawed if frozen
  • Sprinkle eggplant with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and drain in a colander 30 minutes; pat dry.
  • Heat 3 tablespoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until hot, then fry eggplant in batches, adding about 3 tablespoons oil per batch and turning once, until tender and golden brown, 5 to 7 minutes total per batch. Drain on paper towels and cool to room temperature. Wipe skillet clean.
  • Preheat oven to 375ºF with rack in middle.
  • Halve leeks lengthwise and thinly slice. Wash and drain.
  • Cook leeks in 2 tablespoons oil in skillet over medium heat until golden, 7 to 9 minutes. Transfer to a bowl.
  • Chop eggplant; add to leeks with cheeses, nuts, cumin, and salt and pepper to taste.
  • Trim phyllo sheets into 9-inch squares. Cover stack of phyllo with plastic wrap and a damp kitchen towel. Layer 10 sheets in a 9-inch square baking dish, lightly brushing each sheet with oil. Spread filling on top, then cover with remaining phyllo, brushing each sheet with oil.
  • Cut several slits in phyllo (to vent) and bake until puffed and golden brown, 45 to 50 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.
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