Looking over my posts from the last month it may seem like I spent the entire month baking, which is not true. Although I did not cook any new recipes for the blog, I did spend a fair bit of time in the kitchen making some family favorites such as chicken enchiladas, petite lasagnas, tom kah gai, and roasted tomato and pepper soup just to name a few. During that time I managed to come across a few new recipes that I bookmarked for later but I didn't have a chance to try some out until last week.
This recipe was one that I found during my usual nightly browsing of tastespotting.com. On the original blog it is called "Eggplant Parmesan" but I renamed it Eggplant Lasagna because it reminds me of just that. It's kind of like a hybrid between a moussaka and a lasagna because it uses eggplant to create layers, like a moussaka, but the flavors are that of a lasagna.
The process of assembling the dish is not complicated, but it does require more steps than that of an average moussaka or lasagna because the eggplant is first breaded in seasoned panko crumbs before it is baked. Although that means more effort I definitely think it was worth the results because the panko crumbs added an unexpected crunch. I don't know whether I prefer this lasagna over the petite lasagnas I normally make, but it was fun to try a different alternative.
Note: This lasagna can be made vegetarian by using a meat-free tomato sauce.
- 4 large eggplants, peeled and sliced 1/4" thick
- 6 cups tomato sauce (I used the filling from my petite lasagna recipe)
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- 2 eggs
- 2-4 cups panko bread crumbs (start with two and add more as needed)
- 1 tsp oregano
- 1 tsp thyme
- Parmesan cheese, grated
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Line two large baking pans with parchment paper or aluminum foil and coat with olive oil.
- Combine the panko bread crumbs with the oregano, thyme, and a touch of salt and pepper and place in a shallow bowl.
- In a separate shallow bowl, whisk the eggs with a tablespoon of water. One at a time, dip each of the slices of eggplant first in the egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs. Make sure each slice is well coated on all sides and sprinkle off any excess before placing on the pan.
- Once all of the slices are coated and spread out on the pans drizzle a little bit of olive oil on top.
- Bake the eggplant slices at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for half an hour, flipping the slices halfway through.
- Meanwhile prepare the filling if needed.
- Once the eggplant is ready, assemble the lasagna in a 9" x 13" oven-safe dish. Place a layer of the sauce (or meat filling if using), followed by a layer of eggplant, then a layer of sprinkled mozzarella. Repeat the process until all of the ingredient are used up, with the eggplant ending up on top. Sprinkle some more mozzarella over top, as well as some grated Parmesan cheese.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 350 degrees and bake the layered lasagna for about 30 minutes, or until the cheese on top is hot and bubbly.