Little Papoutsakia

In Greek, “papoutsakia” means “little shoes”. Of course this recipe is not actually suggesting that you bake little shoes. It’s just that once baked, the finished result look like little shoes.

Let’s get off this shoe topic.

This very healthy recipe consists of zucchini (courgettes) and lady-finger eggplants, topped with bechamel sauce and stuffed with mince meat.


  • 6 medium zucchini (courgette)
  • 6 medium lady-finger eggplants
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, crushed
  • 400g minced beef
  • 425g can tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) tomato paste
  • 1 cup (250ml) beef stock
  • 1/3 cup (65g) short-grain rice
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • salt, pepper
  • 1/2 cup (40g) grated parmesan cheese


  • 30g butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • pinch ground nutmeg

What to do:

  1. Cut zucchini and eggplant in half lengthways, scoop out pulp with spoon, leaving thin shells; chop pulp finely.
  2. Heat oil in a pan, add onion and garlic, cook, stirring, until well browned. Add chopped pulp, undrained crushed tomatoes, combined paste and stock. Bring to boil, stir in rice, simmer, uncovered for about 15 minutes or until rice is tender and mixture is thick; stir in parsley, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Place suzzhini and eggplant shells on oven trays and fill with mince mixture. Spoon sauce over mince mixture, sprinkle with cheese. Bake in moderate oven for about 35 minutes or until vegetables are tender and tops are lightly browned.
  4. Sauce: Melt butter in pan, add flour, cook, stirring until mixture is dry and grainy. Remove from heat, gradually stir in milk, stir over heat until mixture boils and thickens. Cool, stir in egg and nutmeg.

This dish will serve 6 people.

Kali Oreksi!

Note: This recipe can be prepared a day ahead and can be stored, covered in the fridge.


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