Aubergine Dolma with a Piquant Rice Filling and Tzatziki

Recipe from What's For Lunch, Honey?  

Ingredients

1kg Aubergines, cut lengthwise is approx. 1cm thick slices, then placed in salt water.
6 tablespoons olive oil
Butter for the form
50g cold butter

The Filling
120g onions, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
100g rice, cooked
200g bell pepper, cut into very small cubes
1 aci sivri pepper, finely chopped. Substitute with any other green chili.
300g large Roma tomatoes, blanched, skin removed, de-seeded, and coarsely chopped
70g Kefalotyri cheese, cut into very small cubes. Substitute with an Italian Pecorino sardo
Olive oil
2 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, finely chopped
Salt and fresh cracked pepper

The Yogurt Sauce
150g thick Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons crème fraiche
2-3 garlic cloves, mashed
Salt and fresh cracked pepper

Method

In a large skillet heat the 2 tablespoons of oil for the filling and sauté the onions and garlic until aromatic and translucent.

Add the bell pepper and the Aci Sivri pepper and continue to stir-fry for another 5 minutes. Incorporate half of the tomatoes and 1 tablespoon parsley into the mixture.

Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly, then add the cheese and rice. Mix well, salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

Take the aubergine slices out of the salt water and pat dry with paper kitchen towels. Reserve 1 cup of salt water.

Heat the olive oil in a non-stick pan and cook both sides of the aubergine slices until slightly golden. Set on paper towels to soak up excess oil.

Butter an ovenproof dish. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C.

Taking the narrow end of the aubergine place approx. 1 tablespoon of the rice filling on the aubergine and gently roll. Place each aubergine roll tightly next to each other in the ovenproof dish.

Distribute the remaining tomatoes over the top of the aubergine rolls. Cut up the cold butter into flakes and divide over the top. Pour 1 cup of reserved salt water into the dish, cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for 20 - 25 minutes.

In the meantime prepare the yogurt sauce, by mixing the mashed garlic into the yogurt. Add the crème fraiche and whisk until smooth. Salt and pepper to taste.

Take the ovenproof dish out of the oven, sprinkle with remaining parsley. Serve with yogurt sauce and rustic bread.