Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Rosie Makes Eggplant Lasagna.

I have lovely eggplants in my garden now.
Today I'm making eggplant lasagna.

When picking an eggplant,
the larger eggplants are not your best choice.
If picked too late,
the eggplant will have a large amount of hard seeds
and will be bitter.
Examine the skin also.
The skin should be glossy, not dull,
and you don't want any brown spots.
Check the firmness of the eggplant.
The skin should bounce back 
after you press your thumb on it.
If there's no give at all,
the eggplant was picked too early.
Avoid spongy or rock-hard eggplants.
In general, the smaller the eggplant,
the sweeter it will be.

Slice the ends off and peel the eggplant.

Slice thinly.

Salt all the slices and let eggplant sit 
for about 30 minutes to drain.
Rinse off salt and pat eggplant dry.

For the sauce,
I have a large can of diced tomatoes,
an onion, some garlic, and assorted peppers from the garden.
Mince the garlic and dice the onion and peppers.

Basil from the garden.

Chop about 3-4 tablespoons of basil.

I picked fresh oregano and ...

... finely chopped it.

I heated my skillet,
gave it a few swirls of oil,
and added the onion.
Cook until translucent.

Next, I drained all the juice out,
leaving the tomatoes in the can.

Add in basil and oregano.

Add in peppers and onion.

Next, I added a little Italian seasoning.

Check the level with a skewer.
Bring to a simmer 
and let reduce by half.

 When reduced,
add in the tomatoes
and heat through.

While the tomato juice was reducing ...

... I started on my mushroom filling.
Chop 2-3 TB each onion and parsley.
Mince 1 garlic clove.

Heat your skillet 
and add butter and oil.
Add in mushrooms.
Never salt your mushrooms
until after you've sauteed them.
Salting brings out the moisture
and the shrooms will steam and not brown properly.

Add in the minced garlic.
Add in garlic, onion, and parsley
and saute a few minutes.

Add in a bag of spinach.
Pour in a little water so the spinach will wilt.

The mushroom mixture went into a colander to drain.

Add a big plop of ricotta cheese and ...

...  shredded mozzarella and ...

... chopped basil.

Stir to mix.

And now I'm ready to build my lasagna.
I'm using prosciutto also.

First a layer of tomato sauce.

Then a layer of eggplant.

Spread the mushroom and spinach mixture evenly.

Add a layer of prosciutto.

Another layer of eggplant.

Another layer of sauce and grated mozzarella.

Keep layering.

A little chopped onion on top.

Basil leaves on top.

And mozzarella.

One can't have too much mozzarella.

Ready for a 350 degree oven.

About 40 minutes,
or until heated through and cheese is bubbly and brown.

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