It is that time of year again – the seasons are changing! With the change in seasons comes a change in produce. You have probably noticed more “heartier” fruits and veggies popping up in your garden and in the local farmer’s markets, like melons, peppers, the start of the fall squashes, and lets not forget eggplant.
Eggplant. I never quite to know what to do with eggplant. It’s one of those vegetables that I don’t get overly excited about and always end up dicing it and tossing it into a pasta dish of some sort. A few Fridays ago, as I was about to start the pasta water boiling, I stopped and thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be cool to use the eggplant as the pasta?” I did a quick check to make sure I had all the ingredients on hand, and a few minutes later, a new recipe was developed! (Find recipe here***)
This Eggplant Lasagna is a fun, healthy alternative to the traditional lasagna recipe. It works great for people looking to reduce their carbohydrate intake, or for people who are on a gluten-free diet. It stores well in the fridge, so you can take it to work with you the next day for lunch, or serve leftovers the following night for dinner!
– 3 small eggplants (or 1 1/2 medium eggplants)
– 2 large tomatoes
– 3 cloves garlic
– Basil, fresh, 1 cup
– Oregano, fresh, 1/2 cup
– 32 oz. Ricotta cheese
– 1 jar of organic pasta sauce (23.5 oz. Newman’s Own Organics works well) OR 1 cup organic pasta sauce and an additional 4-6 tomatoes
**Use organic produce whenever possible**
Start off by preheating your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
Then, slice the eggplant into thin sections, about 1/4″ thick. The thinner the slices, the softer the eggplant will be when it comes out of the oven. (insert Eggplant)
Next, mince the garlic and finely chop the basil and oregano. (insert Garlic and Herbs)
In your casserole dish or lasagna pan, begin by pouring a layer (about 1 cup) of organic pasta sauce on the bottom of the dish.
Place the eggplant slices on top of the sauce.
Add the ricotta on top of the eggplant.
Finish the layer off by adding the garlic and herbs, and either another thin layer of pasta sauce, or a layer of fresh tomatoes – whichever you prefer.
Repeat one or two times, depending on how deep your dish is. Finish with placing a layer of fresh tomatoes on top.
Place the dish in the oven and cook for about 35-40 minutes, until the tomatoes on top are bubbly and roasted.
Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. Stores well in the fridge for leftovers. Who doesn’t love cooking once and eating twice?!
Now that I have created this new recipe, I will know what to do next time I receive an eggplant in my weekly CSA pickup! I hope you all enjoy this recipe – it is fairly easy to make with just a few simple ingredients. Perfect for busy folks with not a lot of spare time on their hands!
Andrea Hood is a foodie, blogger, nature lover, and most recently a health coach. She loves spending time in the kitchen creating healthy recipes with local ingredients. She lives in Southern New Hampshire with her husband and two furry pups. For more recipes and information check out her blog at www.behealthybehappybelocal.com or visit her health coaching website, www.behealthybehappybelocal.co.