Thursday, April 30, 2009

Eggplant Lasagna

This is quite a lot of work but it can be prepared in advance and frozen before baking.

1 eggplant, trimmed, peeled & cut lengthwise into 1/2" slices
2 red bell peppers, halved lengthwise & seeded
4 tbl olive oil, divided
1 tbl balsamic vinegar
1 onion, chopped
2 c. sliced mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbl chopped fresh herbs (oregano, thyme, basil) or 2 tsp dried herbs
1 19-oz can crushed tomatoes
1 14-19 oz can beans of your choice, drained and rinsed
3 c. shredded greans (spinach, cabbage, Swiss chard, kale)
8 oz shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
1/4 c. grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Spray 2 cookie sheets with cooking spray. Arrange the eggplant in one layer on one sheet and the pepper halves (cut side down) on the other sheet. Spray the eggplant and peppers with cooking spray (I use olive oil flavor). Bake for 15 min. or until the tip of a knife easily pierces the eggplant and the skin of the peppers is dark and blistered. Do not overcook the eggplant. Let cool completely. Slip the burned skin off the peppers and slice into wide strips. Toss the pepper strips in a small bowl with the vinegar and 1 tbl of the oil.

In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 3 tbl oil. Add onion and mushrooms and cook, stirring frequently for 2 min. or until slightly softened. Add the garlic and cook another 2 min. Add herbs and tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 min. Add the beans and greens and cook 1-5 min. or until greens are wilted or tender.

Spray a large, deep baking dish with cooking spray. Line the bottom of it with 1/3 of the eggplant. Lay half the red pepper mixture over that. Spread with 1/3 of the bean mixture and 1/2 of the cheese. Add another layer of eggplant, the rest of the red pepper mixture, another 1/3 of bean mixture, and the rest of the cheese over that. Top with the remaining eggplant and spread the remaining bean mixture on top. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top.

At this point, you can cover the lasagna and refrigerate it or freeze it until ready to bake. Bring it back to room temperature and uncover it before baking.

Bake at 375F for 40 min. or until bubbly.

6-8 servings

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