Cooking On A Budget: Eggplant Lasagna Style

Monday, September 23, 2013

Eggplant Lasagna Style


This recipe came about because some clients of my husband gave us four small eggplants from their garden. Gorgeous specimens and I needed to use up my spaghetti sauce and some fresh tomatoes that were still lingering from our garden. I ended up bringing this dish for our Sunday afternoon card gathering and everyone was raving about it. I also brought the sour cream blueberry cake slices and the pumpkin muffins as I needed to get them away from me for fear I would devour too much. They were also a bit hit.

I've decided I will never fry eggplant again. Baking it is the way to go. That way the eggplant isn't just soaking up the oil from frying.

It's not easy to get a perfectly cut slab of this for photographing purposes, but this photo shows you all of the goodness in the layers.

  • 4 small eggplant
  • spaghetti sauce - about 4-6 cups
  • 4 eggs (one for ricotta, the rest for egg wash)
  • 2 blocks mozzarella cheese
  • 2 cups plain bread crumbs
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 small container ricotta cheese
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 3 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 pkg. frozen spinach - thawed, drained
  • 1 tbsp. fresh parsley - minced
  • 1 tbsp. fresh basil - minced
  • 3 cloves garlic - finely minced
  • 3-4 small tomatoes - sliced for the top (optional)
  • Parmesan cheese - about 1 or 2 tbsp.
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • cooking spray
  • oil - canola or vegetable

Make an egg wash and breading station.
Bake the dredged eggplant on a large baking sheet lined with foil and sprayed with a cooking spray. Drizzle just a little bit of oil on top to aid in the browning process.

First station:
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper
Second station:
  • 3 eggs whisked together
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • salt and pepper to taste
Third station:
  •  2 cups plain bread crumbs
  1. Have some spaghetti sauce ready; yours or a favorite store bought sauce.
  2. Dredge and coat both sides of the eggplant with flour. Dip in the egg then dredge in the breadcrumbs.
  3. Place on a baking sheet lined with foil and bake at 350° until browned. I used the convection on my oven and it took about 25-30 minutes. No need to turn.
  4. In a bowl combine one egg, ricotta cheese, cream cheese, spinach and fresh herbs with salt and pepper to taste. Mix well.

Add some spaghetti sauce to the bottom, place the eggplant over that. Then spoon on the ricotta mixture.

Next add the sliced mozzarella cheese and on top of the cheese add cracked black pepper.

Then finish off the layer with some sauce and begin to layer on more eggplant. Mine made two layers. The top layer had the eggplant, then fresh slices of tomato sprinkled with Parmesan cheese and lastly another layering of mozzarella.

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