Lift the Fog

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My grandma loved eggplant.

When I say "loved eggplant" I mean that she loved to eat it, cook it, collect tchotchkes that either were or featured eggplants. In fact, I have one of her eggplants, a beautiful covered dish


Anyone who claimed to not like eggplant would get one line, and one line only: You THINK you don't like eggplant. But, have you tried MY eggplant? Many times, people who thought they didn't like eggplant, did indeed like hers. She had this amazing recipe for chopped eggplant that I still need to get, or try to recreate.

What's my point? Well, I think I've inherited her love for eggplant. I like it curried. I like it baked, broiled, grilled, chopped and stir-fried, or roasted on a sandwich. I'm really grateful for this love of eggplant because it enabled me to create tonight's amazing dish.

Something else you should know: I don't think I knew what a casserole was until I was about 12 and my mom made (for the first time that I vividly remember) the Neapolitan Casserole that I love. I don't know that I had a tuna casserole until I made it, and I hadn't even thought to make one until I really started cooking a few years ago. Now though, I adore casseroles. I love using ONE pan and having a delicious meal come out of the oven about an hour later. They don't photograph well, but most of the time they taste absolutely amazing.

This whole not eating flour thing has made me really miss pasta, and my love for eggplant (and a couple of friends suggestions) reminded me that I could make a lasagna with sliced eggplant instead of noodles. Originally I was going to do a roll-up kind of thing, but I was too hungry and impatient for all that prep. This prep was simple.

I sliced 3/4 of a medium eggplant into thin-ish slices. They were then quickly baked in a 400* oven (about 10 minutes) until softer and lightly browned, and more importantly, I could see the seeds.

In a bowl, while this was baking, I mixed a 15 oz. container of 2% ricotta cheese with 1 egg and 1/4 c. of mozzarella cheese. A sprinkle of garlic powder (about a tsp) and a sprinkle of oregano (about 1/2 tsp) went in and I stirred it well. Then I started with the layering.

The order was this: eggplant, cheese, leftover sauce from the other night, eggplant, cheese, sauce, plain shredded mozzarella. It baked for about 30 minutes at 400 until it was bubbly, the cheese was melted, and the house smelled good. The final result?

Ok, that doesn't look all that appetizing. To be honest I couldn't get a decent picture of one piece of it because it was kind of monochromatic, but I assure you, the flavors of the eggplant, the peppers in the sauce, the garlic in the cheese, and the salty mozzarella melded together for a lasagna-type party!

I was in a lovely mood this afternoon even though my school day was exhausting because it was almost 60 degrees and sunny, and the grass is green, and the sun has that warmth to it that only happens in the spring...

Little remnants of winter still remain, the mounds of snow will likely cause fog in the morning, but the fog in my head seems to be lifting. I'm happier more than I'm sad, and wide awake more than I'm tired which is a sure sign of good things to come!

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13 Responses to Lift the Fog

  1. Christina says:

    Yum this looks delicious! Growing up my family always made eggplant parmesan this way instead of individual patties. My dad would fry up a whole bunch and then make a big lasagna out of them. It was sooo good, I need to remake it! I’ve got eggplant on my grocery list this week now! hehe Thanks!
    .-= Christina´s last blog ..Amazing Grass =-.

  2. sophia says:

    I love this, Mara! Funny, but I used to eat something like this every night. It was eggplant, tomato sauce, and then an egg mixture poured over, cheese, and baked! It was like an eggplant-pasta-pudding. I called it Eggplasta pudding. 😉

  3. I think I am one of those people your grandmother talked about who thinks they don’t like eggplant. I bet I would LOVE your dish. Really, what’s NOT good smothered in cheese and tomato sauce? 🙂
    .-= Lara (Thinspired)´s last blog ..Lunch With Justin =-.

  4. Marianne says:

    I don’t “love” eggplant, but I don’t hate it either. I’m one of the “I can take it or leave it” people. I’ll eat it, but I won’t search it out. I think it’s a texture thing.
    .-= Marianne´s last blog ..My Olympics Part 10 – Commuter Chaos =-.

  5. That eggplant dish is so cute! The meal looks awesome. Not sure if I like it – I just don’t think I have prepared it correctly.

  6. I love eggplant by my husband is one of those who swears he doesn’t…but this recipe it going to change his mind!! Thanks girl! 🙂
    .-= Kelly @ Healthy Living With Kelly´s last blog ..Wednesday Love =-.

  7. I like that eggplant dish; so twee! I’ve heard that my great-grandmother prepared excellent eggplant, she would apparently press it overnight to remove the liquid. Wish I could have tasted it! Eggplant lasagna is a no-fail, and yet it’s been ages since I’ve had it. Thanks for the reminder 🙂
    .-= Jenn/CinnamonQuill´s last blog ..Two-For-One: Vegan, Gluten-Free Thin Mints + Oreos =-.

  8. I am in love with eggplants as well.. I love the dish in the pic… I will ahve to give this recipe a try.
    .-= Gelareh @ Nutritious Foodie´s last blog ..Y = mX + b =-.

  9. Mary says:

    I’m also in love with eggplant… I will have to try it your way 🙂 It looks wonderful!

  10. Crystal says:

    Mmmm, I love eggplant!! This “lasagna” looks really good! I’ll have to make it sometime when my fiance is out of town because he doesn’t like eggplant. 🙁 There’s something wrong with him…
    .-= Crystal´s last blog ..Chicken Empanadas =-.

  11. Love that eggplant dish! That is so so gorgeous. 😀

  12. Amazing recipe, girl!
    Can´t wait to try it 😀
    Have an amazing night!
    Brazilian XOXO´s,
    .-= Gabriela (froyolover)´s last blog ..Too Busy To Do The Right Thing =-.

  13. I love eggplant and I love that eggplant dish! I have a very small eggplant dish from Pier 1, not quite as lovely as that one though. 🙂 I really need to have it more often, it’s on my “Love, but neglect list.” 🙁


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