Stewed eggplant

    Serves 5 to 6

    • 2 large eggplants
    • olive oil to taste
    • salt to taste
    • 2 large onions
    • 3 cloves garlic, minced
    • ⅓ cup olive oil
    • 3 large tomatoes
    • 1 cup cooked, chopped spinach
    • ¼ cup chopped chives
    • ½ cup chopped celery leaves
    • 1½ tsp. oregano
    • plenty of pepper to taste
    • 2 Tbs. lemon juice
    • ¼ cup sesame seeds

    1. Peel and slice the eggplants lengthwise, ⅓ inch thick. Cut each slice again into 2 or 3 lengthwise strips. Arrange the slices on baking sheets, brush them with olive oil, and salt them lightly. Put them in a preheated medium broiler for about 7 to 10 minutes, or until the eggplant starts to turn golden brown. Turn the slices over, brush the other side with olive oil, salt the slices, and put them back in the broiler till the other side is colored as well.
    2. Meanwhile, peel and chop the onions, mince the garlic, and sauté them in the olive oil until the onions are translucent. Cut the tomatoes in thin wedges and add them to the onions, along with the spinach, chives, and celery leaves. Simmer the mixture for about another 10 minutes, then stir in the oregano, salt, pepper, and lemon juice.
    3. Put a few tablespoons of this sauce in the bottom of a fairly large, fireproof casserole and arrange ⅓ of the broiled eggplant slices over it. Spoon some more sauce over the eggplant and continue layering until all the eggplant is used up. Cover the last eggplant layer with the remaining sauce.
    4. Put a close-fitting lid on the casserole and simmer the vegetables together over a medium flame for 10 minutes.
    5. Toast the sesame seeds by spreading them on a cookie sheet and putting them in a 350-degree oven. Give them an occasional stir and remove them when they are golden brown.
    6. Sprinkle the toasted sesame seeds over the eggplant just before serving.