Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Leaning Towers of Eggplant

As with the chicken recipe featured just before this, I found it on another blog that I subscribe to, Dori's The Foodie Fashionista. And like the previous entry, it was delish!

Now I recommend that you click on the link below in my recipe source to view the original blog entry. Her stacks are lovely and tall and certainly not melty and keeling over. Mine however, as exhibited in the photo below, were less that attractive. Ok, they were a mess! I think I maybe got a little too enthusiastic with the cheese filling. What can I say, I love cheese.

The eggplant had a wonderful flavor and I loved that this was vegetarian, but not your standard lasagna. The smell in the kitchen was so tempting too. But when I took a peek in the oven to check the progress of my completed, it was clear this was not going to be a smooth transfer from pan to plate. As soon as I touched the first stack in an attempt to serve it up, it slid apart. Eh, that's ok- we ate them as was and enjoyed every bite!

Baked Eggplant Stacks
From The Foodie Fashionista

  • 1 Large Eggplant
  • Salt (I used Kosher salt, but I think any will do.)
  • Olive Oil or Other Non-Stick Cooking Spray (Seriously, you'll need this. I didn't bother and it was a mistake.)
  • 1 C. Ricotta Cheese (I used part skim.)
  • 1/2 tsp. Basil
  • 1/2 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
  • 1 C. Shredded Mozzarella
  • 2 C. Pasta Sauce

  1. Slice the eggplant into rounds about 1/4" thick.
  2. Sprinkle both sides of the eggplant rounds with salt and place in a colander in the sink, allowing the moisture and bitterness pull out of the veggie. After about 30 minutes, rinse off the slices and pat dry with a paper towel.
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease a baking sheet with the olive oil or cooking spray. If you don't do this, your thin rounds will adhere to the surface and have a critical failure when you try to scrape them off later. Foil is not a good alternative to greasing- I promise.
  4. Bake rounds for about 30 minutes, flipping once mid-way through roasting, until the eggplant is tender and aromatic.
  5. While the eggplant bakes, mix together the ricotta, mozzarella, and herbs.
  6. Remove baking sheet from oven after the 30 minutes to start assembling the stacks.
  7. Place some of the ricotta mixture in the center of one eggplant round. Carefully stack a second round on top of that using a spatula. Continue repeating the cheese and eggplant layers until you are satisfied with the size of the portion. It is not a bad idea to build multiple towers at the same time to judge how many you will end up with.
  8. Once you have built the tower up to the desired height (not too high- they'll topple!) place a dollop of the ricotta mixture on top and then smother with a nice spoonful of the pasta sauce. If you'd like, add some more mozzarella on the very top for melty goodness.
  9. Return baking sheet to the oven and bake for about 10 minutes until everything is warmed through and melted.
  10. To serve, every so carefully with a spatula attempt to remove a stack without it falling over. If it falls over, it's ok, serve it up anyway and eat all the pieces as they are delicious! I served this with a side of pasta and used the extra sauce for dipping the stacks in and for the ziti.

1 comment:

Kayte said...

i think yours looks incredible! but i love ooey gooey cheese :-) i neeeeeed to try this.