Doesn’t “Melanzane al Forno con Pomodoro” sound more exciting than “Eggplant Tomato Casserole”? Many thanks to Jane of Let There Be Bite for her quick Italian lesson…
I updated this recipe from a cookbook series titled “Vegetarian Gourmet” by Anna Thomas. Her books were published in the 1970’s and I have a few recipes copied from the books. I remember that Ms. Thomas was married to the actor who played “John-boy” in “The Waltons” and recall that they were raising triplets before they divorced. OK, now I have really dated myself…
I added onions, garlic, red bell pepper, lemon zest and parsley to the original recipe and replaced cheddar with parmesan. A sprinkling of panko works on top of the casserole.
It is my goal to serve more vegetarian entreés this fall and winter, so this fits the bill nicely.
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
- 1 small yellow onion, chopped
- 1 large clove of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons flat-leaved parsley, chopped
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 2 large eggplants, peeled and sliced
- 2 eggs, lightly beaten
- kosher salt, white ground pepper and/or red pepper flakes
- 2 large tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 cup panko breadcrumbs
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
2. Using a large skillet, heat the olive and sauté the red bell pepper and onion until soft. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute.
3. Remove skillet from the heat and stir in the lemon zest, parsley and oregano. Set aside.
4. Place the eggplant slices in a medium-sized pan and cover with water. Cover and heat until the water boils. Reduce heat slightly and cook until the eggplant is soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and mash the eggplant.
5. Add the mashed eggplant to the sauteéd vegetables. Add the beaten eggs and stir to combine. Add salt and pepper to taste.
6. Pour into a greased shallow baking dish. Cover with sliced tomatoes, then the Parmesan. Top with the panko breadcrumbs.
7. Bake for about 45 minutes until hot and bubbling.