I love eggplant. Much like I portobello mushroom, it is not only nutritious but also flavorful. This is my first eggplant recipe I am sharing with you, but I can guarantee this will not be the last.
If you like eggplant, I think you will love this eggplant casserole recipe. The combination of roasted eggplant slices, tangy tomato sauce, garlic and herbs, and served room temperature in a lasagna-like slab. One slice is so delicious in its simplicity. This recipe is a vegetarian dish. For meat lovers, feel free to add ground beef to the recipe.
- 2 Medium Eggplants (thinly sliced)
- 1/2 tsp Sea Salt
- To taste, Extra-Virgin Olive Oil
- 1 Small Yellow Onion
- 2 cloves of Garlic, minced
- 1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
- 2 tbsp Chopped Fresh Parsley
- 1 can (15 oz), Diced Tomatoes
- 1 dash, Ground Cinnamon
- 2 tsp paprika powder
Step 1 - Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C)
Step 2 - Lightly salt the slices of Eggplant and allow to stand for 20 minutes. Pat the slices dry and set aside.
Step 3 - Heat a thin layer of Extra-Virgin Olive Oil in a large ovenproof skillet. Pan fry the eggplant in batches over medium-high heat until golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. And more oil as necessary between batches so the eggplant doesn't burn. Transfer the eggplant to a plate.
Step 4 - Add the Yellow Onion to the skillet and saute over medium heat until soft, 5 minutes.
Option - Add ground beef in this stage
Step 5 - Add the Garlic, Crushed Red Pepper Flakes , Sea Salt, Ground Cinnamon, and paprika powder. Cook for one minute more, until fragrant.
Option - If ground beef is added, cook until ground beef is 80% cooked.
Step 6 - Carefully pour in the Diced Tomatoes and simmer until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the Fresh Parsley (1 tbsp).
Step 7 - If you're using a skillet, transfer 3/4 of the sauce to a bowl. Arrange one layer of eggplant, evenly in the bottom of the skillet or large casserole dish. Slather with a layer of sauce, and repeat with the remaining eggplant and sauce.
Step 8 - Cover with foil and bake in the oven for 45 minutes, until the eggplant is very soft and the sauce has reduced
Step 9 - Allow to sit for 10 minutes before cutting into it. Garnish with the remaining Fresh Parsley (1 tbsp) and serve warm or at room temperature. Enjoy!