Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Eggplant Lasagna

My kids will tolerate eggplant.  They don't love it and you certainly won't hear them begging for it, but they will eat a piece or two if properly presented.  The is problem I love eggplant and am always looking for ways to have it without having a lot of "whine" with it.  And while I don't like hiding food and tricking them it is necessary to be creative at times.

I was watching Food Network one Saturday morning and Rachel Ray was making an eggplant lasagna, but she wasn't making it using thinly sliced eggplant.  She was making it with baked and pureed eggplant.  It was one of those moments duh moments for me, how had this never occurred to me.  Pureed eggplant and ricotta cheese have a very similar consistency.  Mix them together and you can easily fool even those with the biggest aversion to this yummy, yet under appreciated veggie.

Eggplant Lasagna (ziplist)

  • Ingredients 

    • 1 large eggplant
    • 5-6 large tomatoes, sliced
    • 1/2 cup basil
    • 2 cloves roasted garlic
    • 2 pints ricotta
    • 1 cup Parmigiana-Reggiano
    • 1 egg
    • 24 oz fresh or jarred marinara sauce
    • 1 box lasagna noodles (prepared to boxed instructions)
    • 3 cups shredded mozzarella
    • Olive oil
    • Salt and pepper
  • Instructions 

    1. Preheat oven to 400
    2. Slice eggplant in half lengthwise. Brush each side with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and bake for 40-45 minutes or until soft.
    3. Place tomato slice on baking sheet lightly drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes. Remove from oven to cool, set aside.
    4. Once eggplant has cooled slightly scoop out fleshy inside. Place in bowl of food processor with basil and garlic. Pulse 3-4 times to puree. Add egg, ricotta and 1/2 cup Parmigiana cheeses, salt and pepper to taste. Pulse an additional 3-4 times.
    5. In a 13x9 baking pan, pour in a 1/4 of the sauce. Add a layer of noodles, a layer of the ricotta cheese eggplant mixture, and a layer of tomatoes. Top the four layers with a sprinkle of mozzarella cheese. Repeat the layering process 2 times. Finish with a layer of sauce topped with generous topping of mozzarella cheese and remaining Parmigiana.
    6. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until cheese has melted. Let cool for 15-20 minutes before serving.