Here is another fine vegetarian recipe – 3 Cheese Eggplant Lasagna – taken from our All-American Vegetarian and Vegan page.
There are many versions of 3 Cheese Eggplant Lasagna, but the one we are offering here is, in The Old Silly’s humble but very experienced opinion, the absolute best vegetarian lasagna recipe ever. Prepare this dish, and invite your meat-eating friends over for dinner. I guarantee they will feel completely satiated, as will you. And everyone will want the recipe, too.
3 Cheese Eggplant Lasagna Recipe-
- 2 large eggplants, sliced lengthwise into ¼” thick slices
- ½ cup freshly grated Romano cheese
- 15 oz. ricotta cheese
- 1 cup freshly shredded mozzarella cheese
- 2 tbsp. salt
- 2 tbsp. safflower oil (you can also use canola oil or vegetable oil)
- 1 can (28 oz.) crushed tomatoes
- 1 can (6 oz.) tomato paste
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1 tsp. dried basil
- 2 tsp. garlic powder
- 2 tsp. onion powder
- 1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tsp. more
- Freshly ground course sea salt and black peppercorns, to taste
- 1 cup frozen steamed and chopped spinach (You can also use fresh spinach, if seasonal and locally available)
- 1 cup shredded carrot
- 2 large eggs
- Generously salt both sides of the eggplant slices, then stack them in a large baking dish, placing a paper towel between each slice. Take a baking dish just the right size to fit inside the larger dish, and place it on top of the stack, then place some heavy objects into the dish, so the eggplant slices are being compressed.
- Allow the slices to sit about an hour—you want to see the towels becoming well moistened.
- Unstack the eggplant slices and rinse thoroughly with fresh water, then pat them dry with cloth or paper towels.
- Put 2 tbsp. of safflower oil in a large skillet and bring the heat up to medium high.
- Sauté both sides of the slices until they are lightly browned, usually about 5 minutes per side will do it. You may have to sauté them in batches. When all slices are browned, set them aside.
- Next prepare the sauce. In a medium sized bowl, combine the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tsp. each of garlic and onion powder, oregano, basil, 1 tbsp. olive oil, salt, and black pepper. Blend together well, and set aside.
- In another skillet, heat 1 tsp. of olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion until soft, fragrant and translucent—about 5 minutes.
- Now add in the shredded carrots and frozen spinach, continue cooking until the mixture is becoming dried out, about 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
- In another bowl, combine the Romano cheese, ricotta cheese, eggs, ½ tsp. salt, and 1 tsp. each of onion and garlic powder.
- Add the cooled carrot and spinach mixture into the Romano-Ricotta cheese mixture, stir and blend together thoroughly.
- Set your oven on to 175 degrees C (350 degrees F).
- Start assembling the lasagna, by pouring a thin layer of tomato sauce into a 9” x 13” baking dish, and spreading it evenly across the bottom.
- Take one half of the eggplant slices and layer them on top of the tomato sauce.
- Next, spread on a layer of the Romano-ricotta cheese mixture.
- Spread on another layer of tomato sauce, then layer on the rest of the eggplant slices.
- Spread on the rest of the Romano-ricotta cheese mixture.
- Again spread on one last layer of tomato sauce, and finally, the very last layer will be your mozzarella cheese on top of the whole stack.
- Bake for approximately 45 minutes, checking on it after about 35 or 40 minutes—you want the mozzarella cheese to be a pleasing golden brown.
- Remove from the oven, and allow to cool for 10 to 15 minutes, so it can “set up” and slice easily. Serve your 3 Cheese Eggplant Lasagna while still very warm. Reheated leftovers the next day are as good or even better than the first serving.
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