While searching through Pinterest for some inspiration with all of our delicious eggplant coming from the garden, I came upon this great recipe and it’s associated blog (www.feastingathome.com).
I love the combination of eggplant and lamb, although one could easily eliminate the lamb and use another vegetable for it’s filling. Personally, my choice would be winter squash cut into cubes and steamed, then combined with the other ingredients in the recipe.
3 lbs Eggplant ( 2 extra large or 3 eggplants)
3 T olive oil or cooking spray
2 T olive oil
1 large onion diced
4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
2 lbs ground lamb, (or use vegetarian ground meat substitute Gimme Lean or St Ives Meatless Ground.)
1 1/2 C diced tomatoes ( canned is OK)
2 T tomato paste
1/2 white wine
2 T fresh chopped parsley
1 tsp sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp kosher salt
3 T butter
4 T flour ( or rice flour)
2 C whole milk
1/2 tsp nutmeg ( use fresh grated if possible)
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp white pepper
1/4 Cup grated Parmesan, Pecorino or Kefalotiri Cheese
1 egg, lightly beaten
Cut eggplant into 1/4 inch thick rounds( no thinner). Sprinkle with a little kosher salt and let sit in a colander or bowl for 1 hour. Eggplant will start to release liquid. Rinse well, pat dry and brush each side with olive oil ( or use spray oil). Place on a greased sheet pan and roast in a 400 F oven until golden, about 20-30 minutes.
Make Meat sauce:
Saute diced onion in oil on med high heat for 3-4 minutes, add garlic, turn heat down to med low and saute for 8-10 minutes until onions are tender. Add ground lamb, turn heat up to high and brown, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Drain fat if any. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir and cover and let simmer on med low heat for 20 minutes.
Melt 3 T butter. Whisk in 4 T flour ( or rice flour) and let cook for 2-3 on med heat, stirring often. Whisk in 1 C milk. Whisk well, and add 2nd cup. Stirring constantly bring to a boil, and let simmer on low for an additional 2 minutes. Remove from heat and add nutmeg, 2 T Cheese, salt, pepper. Set aside to cool. In a separate bowl, lightly beat an egg, but do not add it just yet.
Divide eggplant slices into three stacks, reserving the best looking largest pieces for the top an bottom layers. The others can be placed in the middle layer which will be concealed. In a greased 8x 13 in pan, place one layer of eggplant. Add half the meat sauce. Add another layer of eggplant, and the remaining meat sauce. Add the third and final layer of eggplant. Whisk in the beaten egg into the bechamel sauce until nice and smooth. Spread the bechamel over the final eggplant layer. Sprinkle the remaining cheese and place in a 350F oven for 50-60 minutes, until beautiful and gold. let stand 10 minutes before serving.
Prep time: 2 hours Cook time: 1 hour Total time: 3 hours Yield: 6-8 servings