Day 292: Eggplant Lasagna

No surprise that something called eggplant lasagna contains eggplant. But in this recipe, the eggplant actually replaces the lasagna noodles!

Is that a good idea?

Yes: This was one of the best, maybe the best, lasagnas I've ever eaten. That said, I credit the slow-roasted tomatoes, Batch 11 to be specific, rather than the eggplant. I'd recommend the base recipe with traditional noodles any day. (Folks from the Southern Hemisphere: Are you planning to slow-roast tomatoes this year? I really really REALLY recommend it! Just LOOK what's possible when you do!)

No: The inspiring recipe called for a fussy, time-consuming process for precooking the eggplant, one I'll never repeat. I think there're other ways, however, like this one.

Yes, But: The eggplant lasagna is about 1/3 lower in calories and contains fewer than 1/2 the carbs. That said, neither version can be considered 'diet' food. If I were going to splurge on lasagna, I think I'd go whole hog, so to speak, and make this with real noodles.

FOR THE RECORD This is A Veggie Venture's official entry in the Weekend Cookbook Challenge (specifically the "Winter Comfort Food" edition) going on over at Something So Clever. It's not too late to join the fun!

FROM THE ARCHIVES For other vegetable casseroles and hot dishes, see here in the Recipe Box.


EGGPLANT LASAGNA
Bookmark or print this recipe only
Hands-on time: Maybe 45 minutes?
Time to table: Maybe 2 hours?
Serves 6



IN GENERAL
Roast the eggplant, make the white sauce, collect the other ingredients, then assemble and bake.

ROASTED EGGPLANT
1 1/2 pounds eggplant
Salt and pepper to taste

Slice the eggplant cross-wise as thin as possible, 1/4 inch or less. (If you're worried about bitterness, soak the eggplant slices in salted water for about 30 minutes, then drain and pat dry.) Transfer to a baking sheet covered with foil. Season with salt and pepper. (Don't skip this step.) Place the tray about four inches from the broiler and broil until golden, 4 - 5 minutes per side.

WHITE SAUCE
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon fennel seed
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
2 tablespoons flour
1 cup whole milk

Takes 10 minutes to make. Melt the butter with the fennel and Italian seasoning in a medium saucepan on MEDIUM. Stir in the flour and let cook for a minute, stirring the entire time, working out all the floury lumps. Slowly -- this means starting with a few drops at a time, incorporating each addition completely before adding more -- add the milk. Let cook until thickened, about 5 minutes, stirring the entire time.

ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS
3 cups slow-roasted tomatoes (or your own or a commercial pasta sauce)
1 pound fontina, grated (could you use less cheese? maybe ... but it'd still never be diet food)

ASSEMBLY
Grease a casserole dish. Create layers in this order, bottom to top.
  • A thin layer of tomato sauce, just enough to cover the bottom of the dish
  • 1/3 of the eggplant
  • 1/3 remaining tomato sauce
  • 1/3 white sauce
  • 1/3 cheese
Repeat two more times. Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or until bubbly. Put under the broiler for a few minutes to brown, if desired. Cover and let cool for 10 - 15 minutes before serving.

NUTRITION ESTIMATE
Made with Eggplant, Per Serving: 459 Cal (61% from Fat, 20% from Protein, 19% from Carb); 24 g Protein; 32 g Tot Fat; 18 g Sat Fat; 22 g Carb; 7 g Fiber; NETCARB 15; 445 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 650 mg Sodium; 104 mg Cholesterol; WEIGHT WATCHERS 12 points

Made with traditional lasagna noodles, Per Serving: 559 Cal (51% from Fat, 19% from Protein, 29% from Carb); 28 g Protein; 33 g Tot Fat; 18 g Sat Fat; 42 g Carb; 8 g Fiber; NETCARB 34; 445 mg Calcium; 2 mg Iron; 650 mg Sodium; 104 mg Cholesterol; WEIGHT WATCHERS 16 points

ALANNA's TIPS
  • When you see this in the title and the Recipe Box, you know the recipe's a personal favorite. Tastes vary, of course, but the mark is one indication of another vegetable recipe that's worth paying attention to.
CREDIT WHERE CREDIT'S DUE
Very adapted from Mary Kafka's Vegetable Love , a relatively new cookbook but first cracked for this lasgna


(c) Copyright 2006 Kitchen Parade

7 comments:

I have a recipe for slow-roasted tomatoes on my blog that doesn't take as long as yours, though the oven temperature is still quite low. Slow-Roasted Tomatoes: one variation is the addition of a scant amount of sugar.

Did you know our blogs have the same birthday?

: D

I love eggplant lasagna. I first learned to make it after I had it at a vegetarian restaurant. My version has roasted portabello mushrooms as one of the layers, and spinach incorporated into the white sauce. Even more veggies!

Hey guys - how fun to be cooking in similar ways w both of you! I'd intended to add spinach to the white sauce but when I dug into the vegetable bin, last week's bag was lookin' way too sorry.

Hi there! Isn't that called moussaka? Anyway, you can also use courgettes (zuccini) instead of eggplants; also use some steamed root vegetables (sliced) in the layers with tomato or white sauce.

I'm not an expert but I think mousakka usually has meat, either lamb or in the US ground beef. If anyone elsle knows, please chime in! And the zucchini is an excellent idea, none of that soaking/roasting business!

yummy yummy..i just love eggplant! :)

Thank you for partcipating. The round up can be found here:
http://somethingsoclever.typepad.com/weekend_cookbook_challeng/2006/02/wcc2_roundup_.html

:o) ~Alicat

This recipe sounds delicious. I have never attempted to make lasagna myself... I always seem to over bake any cheesy dishes. I will try to follow your recipe to the T... and let you know how it comes out.

Thanks!

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. ~ Alanna