Mediterranean Eggplant (serves 6)
Will’s maternal Grandmother, Claire, is from Siena. So we have learned there is so much more to Italian cooking than the “Three P’s” (Pasta and Pizza, and Parmesan) A marinara sauce dressed up with fresh herbs, walnuts, raisins, and lemons makes your kitchen smell like the Adriatic coast! Using previously prepared/canned/frozen homemade marinara sauce (or a commercially prepared sauce) makes the prep for this dish a dream. Use long narrow eggplant for an especially fresh and vibrant taste. Dried spices are fine, but if you have access to fresh mint, basil and oregano, you will enjoy this even more. As always, the small amount extra virgin olive oil is used as an Italian condiment, and helps keep the potato from sticking to the pan. The “Parmesan” we use is the “Go Veggie” soy based brand, but strictly speaking it’s not really necessary to the cachet. For best results, pair this with a bold Super Tuscan. ~ Glyn & Will
1 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil (first cold pressed)
4 cups eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch slices
2 cups Marinara Sauce
1/4 cup walnuts, roughly chopped
1/4 cup raisins
1 lemon, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 large potato (peeled and thinly sliced)
1 cup cooked rice
1/2 tsp dried dill
1/4 cup shredded basil leaves
2 tbsp fresh chopped oregano
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/2 cup Go Veggie Parmesan Cheese Substitute
1 Add the chopped or dried herbs to the marinara sauce.
2 Stir in the lemon juice, walnuts and raisins.
3 Lightly oil the bottom of a 9″ baking pan or casserole with the olive oil.
4 Line the bottom of the pan with the thinly sliced potato. Add salt and pepper to taste
5 Layer half the eggplant on the potato.
6 Evenly spread half the marinara/nut/raisin sauce over the eggplant.
7 Sprinkle the cooked rice evenly over the sauce in the baking pan.
8 Add the remaining half of the eggplant in an even layer.
9 Top with the remaining marinara sauce mixture, spreading evenly.
10 Sprinkle the parmesan substitute evenly over the casserole.
11 Arrange the halved lemon slices around the perimeter of the casserole.
12 Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the cover and cook an additional 15 minutes to brown lightly.
Yield: One nine inch square casserole
Degree of Difficulty: Easy
Oven Temperature: 375°F
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour and 15 minutes