This meal is one of my favorites. I’m an eggplant lover that goes way back, but trying to perfect this dish for some reason didn’t come easy for me. Good thing I didn’t give up on it/me. Eggplant is such an easy vegetable to grow (at least in Northern California) and can be eaten all by itself (grilled with olive oil and herbs), but in combination with certain specific flavors really blossoms.
This is a throw together dish, so you don’t need an awful lot of time if you are looking for something quick and easy to put together. If you make batches of your own kind of sauce, it’s pretty much like putting a sandwich together.
Why I didn’t switch from Ricotta cheese to Cream cheese sooner, I’ll never know. I don’t think we are going back. This was so smooth and yummy with the cream cheese that we are converted forever. (Gavel sound!) Talk about a perfect combination. Ricotta will remain in my heart (and certain dishes) but not in my lasagna.
Eggplant Lasagna (No Noodles)
4 Medium Eggplants thinly sliced, salted and slightly cooked for 10 minutes on lightly greased cookie sheet
3-4 cups Tomato Sauce
6 cups Spinach (Steamed and drained)
8 large Mushrooms Sliced
1 Tablespoon each fresh basil, parsley and time, or Italian Seasoning.
8 oz Cream Cheese
1 cup Parmesan Cheese
8 oz Mozzarella Cheese
Preheat oven to 350˚ degrees. In a casserole dish layer the dish starting with the sauce. Next make a layer of prepared eggplant. Layer of spinach, then mushrooms, then cream cheese mixture (cream the cheese, egg and herbs together). Next layer with the sauce again and another layer of eggplant. Top with mozzarella cheese.
Now I got a bunch of organic beets at the market this week and recently found some recipes where they were finally (or where have I been) using the beet leaves.
Being a huge swiss chard fan, which what the leaves remind me of, wanted to use them. As you can see from the photo at left, I topped the dish using them which held the mozzarella cheese and top layer beautifully. Then because I had another bee in my bonnet threw in some capers. They were so good. It was, for a change, a nice wild hair actually that worked.
Bake for 40 minutes.
Dancing around the kitchen in my Napa Apron, listening to Nora Jones……Bon Appetit!