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.
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Hands-on time: Maybe 45 minutes?
Time to table: Maybe 2 hours?
Roast the eggplant, make the white sauce, collect the other ingredients, then assemble and bake.
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.
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.
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)
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
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
- 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.
Very adapted from Mary Kafka's Vegetable Love , a relatively new cookbook but first cracked for this lasgna