Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Italian Layered Eggplant

Recovery is something that you have to work on every single day and it's something that it doesn't get a day off. – Demi Lovato

Serve with rice or pasta if you wish.

My cousin hates eggplant. He wouldn’t like this dish.

Actually, as my mother (a former teacher) would say: “You can’t ‘hate’ an inanimate object.” So he must only dislike it. I wonder if you can love something inanimate? This is pretty tasty.

I was on a “plant run” yesterday to purchase on-sale items to fill the destroyed flower border, caused from when we had our well drilled. I felt the urge to perform some important recovery work to the poor thing before fall.

I brought back a sh8tload. So the gist is, I had little time to fuss over supper if I wanted to get the plants in right away.

By the way, I got about $120 worth of plants for around $50 at The Village Nursery in Pleasantville, just outside Bridgewater. The 3” pots that you buy as starters in the spring are fully mature and in bloom. Good deal, and instant garden.

But back to dinner... So I had no time, and wanted to be outside while dinner was being “made.”

The answer is in your oven, or will be if you make this. It also has very few ingredients. Some simple layering, pop it in and out you go.

Simple. No-fuss. Delicious and healthy.

By the way, besides now having the garden back from the dead, we also put down about half of the grass seed needed to cover our exposed dirt. In a few weeks we should be closer to back to normal in our yard!

Italian Layered Eggplant
Prep: 10 min  |  Bake 1 hr 0 min  |  Serves 4
4 tbsp olive oil
1 lg eggplant
1 lb hamburger
2 cups tomato sauce
2 tbsp fresh oregano (2 tsp dried)
1 tbsp fresh rosemary (1 tsp dried)
1 tbsp fresh thyme (1 tsp dried)
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 375°F.

Slice the eggplant into 1/4” thick pieces. Chop the herbs together. Place 2 tbsp of the olive oil in a 9x14, or similar, ovenproof pan and place 1 layer of slices on the bottom. Leave enough of the big ones to cover the top.

Then crumble the raw hamburger on top, followed by the pasta sauce and the herbs. Salt as you go.

Top with the remaining eggplant, sprinkle with the remaining oil, some more salt and some pepper. Be generous.

Cover with foil and bake in the hot oven for 1 hour. At the end of the hour, remove the foil, layer with the cheese and bake uncovered for 20 more minutes, or until the cheese is bubbly and browned.


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