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Palisades Park Eggplant Lasagna



The gardens are chugging out produce. I can see it like a cartoon event. Boing another plant flops out a beauty. Boing there's another variety. Being one step ahead of the produce production line AND using these trophies keeps the kitchen active.

Eggplant. Not high on my experience level. Pretty as can be, but I told Dale I wanted the plants because we would just LOVE eggplant... sure we would. Small point... what to do with them!

Viva the Italians in my life and their memories, especially Mrs. Kerns. (I know she had a first name, but I have always called her Mrs.) She taught my mother how to cook Italian. Eggplant Parmesan and eggplant lasagna were the first thoughts. I love my Mom's friends! Mrs. Kerns would spend hours in the kitchen with Mom making the sauce. And that is key... but today, I used a prepared sauce.

It's an odd vegetable if you haven't dealt with eggplant before. Large dark purple-black with a leafy green top. To me it looked solid as can be like the squash I have been cooking for years . But then when cutting into it, I found that eggplant is not at all like an acorn squash, but softer and more supple.

Palisades Park Eggplant Lasagna

serves 6
2 1 lb eggplants
Kosher salt
vegetable shortening
bread crumbs
1 egg
1 bottle prepared marinara sauce
1 small container (15 ounces) ricotta cheese
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t salt
1 egg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese
1 cup Parmesan cheese
1 1/2 c Mozzarella cheese

Slice the eggplant into THIN slices. These will serve as the pasta in your lasagna dish! Sprinkle each piece with kosher salt and lay in a colander. Place paper towels on top and weigh down with 2 plates. Allow the excess water to drain out of the eggplant pieces. Set aside for 1 hour.

In lasagna pan, pour 1/2 cup of prepared marinara sauce. Set aside.

Mix ricotta cheese, nutmeg, salt, 1/2 c Parmesan and 1/2 cup Mozzarella cheese. Set aside.

Wipe off salt from each slice of eggplant with paper towel. Dip slice into a dish with a beaten egg, then into a different dish with the bread crumbs. In a large fry pan heat oil to medium high heat. Add about 3 slices at a time, flip and put into prepared lasagna pan. After refilling the fry pan with 3 more pieces, put 1/3 of cheese mixture on each slice, spread. Pour 1/3 sauce over this; sprinkle 1/3 Parmesan and Mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers until all is used. Sprinkle extra cheeses on top.

Bake at 350 for 50 minutes.

Serve with some good Italian bread. It will make that Boing Boing in the garden sounds like a victory song! Enjoy and share with me your thoughts.

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