Baked Eggplant, Mozzarella, and Tomato Casserole
Baking instead of frying makes for a lighter-tasting eggplant. Serve with pasta or crusty bread.
Prep time: about 15 minutes
Cook time: BAKING TIME (EGGPLANT):35 to 55 minutes; COOKING TIME: 35 minutes
Serves: 6 servings
- 1 large eggplant, or
- 2 small ones, ends trimmed and left whole
- 2 Tbs olive oil
- 4 medium-size ripe tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 lb fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup finely chopped fresh basil, or 2 Tbs dried
- 2 Tbs chopped fresh thyme, or 2 tsp dried
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 2 medium-size ripe tomatoes, chopped, or 1 cup tomato sauce
- 1/2 cup bread crumbs
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
Wrap the eggplant in foil; place oil and layer ingredients in the casserole dish.
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wrap the eggplant in aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 55 minutes, depending on its size, until it feels tender when pierced with a knife. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly.
2. Place 1 tablespoon of the oil in the bottom of a large, shallow casserole or gratin dish. Peel the eggplant, then slice it thinly. Place a slice of eggplant in the casserole dish; top with a slice of tomato and, next to it, a slice of mozzarella; overlap the two slightly so they fit on the eggplant. Repeat until you have used all of the eggplant. Make two rows of topped slices, side by side, in the dish.
3. Sprinkle with basil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Scatter the tomatoes (or pour sauce) on top and drizzle with the remaining tablespoon of oil. Bake for 25 minutes.
4. Remove the casserole from the oven and top with bread crumbs and grated cheese. Bake another 10 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and eggplant is tender. Serve hot.per serving (1 cup): 267 calories, 15 g fat (6.5 g saturated), 252 mg sodium, 27 mg cholesterol. This dish is rich in calcium and vitamin C.