I love to cook. I really do. I completely enjoy finding new ways to use the ingredients that I love to create something that my family, my friends, and I will enjoy. If the outcome is something that is good for us, that’s even better!
When spring comes along, I begin longing for fresh vegetables from our local farmers markets, and I’m always looking for new things to make to incorporate those yummy treasures. We usually have eggplant in abundance in our East Texas farmers markets, and I wanted to try them out for myself. This recipe is one that I have had for several years, but just tried last year, and my family loves it! Basically, the eggplant slices take the place of the lasagna noodles in this eggplant lasagna; don’t panic, you’ll love it, even if you’re not a big fan of eggplant. (I’m not a big fan, myself, usually.)
Also, I notice that eggplants are still available in my grocery store, even in winter. You might find them in yours, too!
Mama Steph’s eggplant lasagna
2 medium to large eggplants, washed and peeled. Slice into rounds about 1/3″ thick.
Place the rounds on a foil-lined baking sheet.
Drizzle olive oil on the rounds, and sprinkle with dried oregano, basil, garlic, and any other spices you prefer in an Italian dish.
Place the baking sheet of eggplant slices under the broiler, and cook until gently browned.
While they’re browning, (don’t forget to keep an eye on them!), mix together
- 16 oz. ricotta cheese
- one egg
- 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese.
Make a sauce: this is where you can be creative. I made mine like this:
- 2- 28 oz. cans of tomato sauce
- 1- 14 oz. can of diced tomatoes
- 1 lb. ground turkey, browned
- Italian spices
- salt & pepper, to taste
I simmered this sauce for thirty minutes or so. You can do it well in advance, just before assembling, or even just use a jarred sauce in a pinch.
I also had on hand one small package of white button mushrooms which I had brushed off (don’t immerse fresh mushrooms in water; it makes them tough. Use a veggie brush or paper towel to brush them off.) I sliced the mushrooms. If you don’t care for mushrooms, you may leave these out, of course.
Finally, you should have at least 2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese. I use the lowfat verion, just to save fat and calories.
Now comes the fun part! Begin layering in a 9×13 casserole dish. Sauce on the bottom of the dish, then a layer of eggplant, layer of fresh mushroom slices, 1/2 of ricotta mixture, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella, then repeat, beginning with sauce and ending with mozzarella. (You really can’t get this wrong. Do it however you like. )
Top it all off with a nice sprinkling of grated parmesan, and stick it in the oven, uncovered, and bake at 400 degrees F until bubbly and a bit browned on top.
This makes a fairly large lasagna; we had four large servings out of it the first night, with three servings left over that I enjoyed for lunches, reheated in the microwave. It is so good that my teenage sons all love it and want seconds! They’ve never been willing to eat eggplant in any other form.
Please let me know if you try it! I’d love your feedback on this recipe. Enjoy!
You might also like: Turkey & chevre-stuffed peppers (no rice in this recipe, so if you’re low-carbing you’ll especially enjoy this one. It is amazing!)
Copyright 2013 Stephanie Hill Frazier. All rights reserved.