September 15, 2011

Taking Advantage of a Deal

You've heard how Sam and I are being a little thrifty these days.  Well, I hit the jackpot at Trader Joe's earlier this week.  Not only did they have big beautiful eggplants on sale, but they also had a great deal on jarred tomato sauce. I know, not the most exciting, (and not from the farmer's market) but it got me thinking about a deliciously easy baked eggplant dish that I've been dreaming up lately.  My favorite way to start a traditional eggplant parm is to batter, bread, and bake the eggplant, instead of frying it.  So I started with this idea, but put a Greek spin on it.  I had some crumbled feta and spinach in the fridge and when I sliced the eggplant length-wise, they reminded me of lasagna noodles.  With the layers of tomato sauce, feta, and spinach, it was a comforting and simple vegetarian meal.  Best of all? The leftovers were even better the next day.

Eggplant "Lasagna"
Serves 4-6

1 large eggplant
1 jar store bought tomato sauce 
4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup parmesan cheese, grated
2 eggs, beaten
2 cups breadcrumbs
4 cups fresh spinach
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Peel and slice the eggplant lengthwise 1/4 inch thick.  Salt the eggplant and let sit for at least 20 minutes. Add salt and pepper to breadcrumbs and set aside.  Coat the eggplant with the eggs and dredge through the breadcrumb mixture. Set on a baking sheet.  Repeat until all of the eggplant slices have been coated. Sprinkle olive oil over each slice and bake for 25 minutes until the eggplant is golden brown.  Turn down the oven to 350 degrees.
In a large casserole dish, pour a cup of the tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish. Lay the eggplant slices in a single layer and top with more sauce.  Sprinkle feta and parmesan on top of the sauce and add 2 cups of spinach on top. Start the process again with the eggplant and repeat the layers until just a bit of the sauce and the cheese remain to top the lasagna. Bake the casserole for 25 minutes or until it is bubbling and golden on top.  

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