I confess: this recipe was born out of laziness. We’d picked up some eggplant at our CSA and I knew I had a block of mozzarella cheese in the fridge. As much as I’m ready to switch over to fall colors and flavors, casseroles and soups, it is also important to me that I continue to get and use whatever summer produce is still available. It won’t be long before it seems like all we’re eating is potatoes and squash, so I’m making the most of variety while I can. I’d already made eggplant parmesan, so I wanted to try something else. Initially I planned on Red, White and Blue Eggplant from the Victory Garden Cookbook or my variation of Striped Eggplant, Tomato and Cheese. But then I got lazy; layering all those ingredients vertically seemed like more work that I was prepared to do last week.
So I came up with this instead. If we’re being honest, it’s still a bit of work, and it’s still layering. But you don’t have to worry about your layers falling over and I really enjoyed the flavor and texture of this dish. It’s sort of a lasagna meets a vegetable casserole; soft, cheesy and fragrant with herbs. There are just a few noodles, but they help hold the whole thing together. We got 8 servings out of this recipe, which covered a dinner and three days of lunch at work. I can’t complain about a meal that gets that much mileage.
Early Fall Vegetable Bake
- 1 ½ pounds eggplant I used 3 small ones
- 1 large onion thinly sliced
- 1 pound tomatoes thinly sliced
- 8 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese
- 6 no-boil lasagna noodles
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Peel and thinly slice the eggplant (about ¼ inch thick). Salt the slices by laying them out on a tea towel or paper towels and sprinkling them with salt. Set the eggplant aside for about half an hour. Lightly pat the moisture off the outside of the slices when the half hour is up.
- Lightly oil a 9" x 13" baking pan. Place a thin layer of onions in the bottom of the pan, then top with a layer of noodles. 3 noodles should cover the length of the pan.
- Next, add a single layer of sliced tomato and sliced eggplant, half of the shredded cheese and 1/2 tablespoon of Italian seasoning. Repeat, starting with the onions and noodles, then adding the tomatoes, eggplant, cheese and Italian seasoning.
- Cover the baking dish with foil. Bake for 45 minutes in a 375 degree oven.
- Allow the casserole to cool slightly before cutting and serving. Enjoy!