Beefy Eggplant Casserole
Yield: 10 servings
Prep Time: 30 min + marinating time
Cook Time: 50 min
3 medium eggplants, sliced into 1/4-inch slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 pound ground beef
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
dash ground pepper
One 8-ounce can tomato sauce
1/2 cup toasted pine nuts
10 slices mozzarella
1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1. Place sliced eggplants into a colander. Sprinkle with salt and set aside for at least 30 minutes to allow salt to draw out excess liquid from eggplant. Pat slices dry on paper towels. Place on greased or nonstick baking sheet and brush with oil using pastry brush. Broil for approximately 4 minutes, or until slices are just browned. Turn slices over and repeat process for the other side. Layer slices in 9x13-inch dish and set aside.
2. Preheat broiler.
3. In sauté pan over medium-high heat, combine onion and ground beef and sauté until meat is browned. Stir in garlic, oregano, basil, cinnamon, salt and pepper. Add tomato sauce. Remove from heat and stir in pine nuts. Cool.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
5. Place large Tablespoonfuls of beef mixture on top of eggplant slices in baking dish. Places slices of mozzarella cheese over the top to completely cover the beef layer. Sprinkle with Parmesan and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
6. Sprinkle with additional Parmesan and serve while hot.
*Try preparing this dish without the beef for a Vegetarian meal.
*Don't skip the first step... it's important to draw the moisture out of the eggplant or you run the risk of your eggplant being soggy.