Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Don't Judge an Eggplant Lasagna By Its Cover

I would be lying if I said I never pre-judged a recipe by it's picture.  But we all know, sometimes that beautiful roast turkey is bone dry, and sometimes the prettiest salad is hiding something you can't stand (i'm talking to you, frisee)

But sometimes, just sometimes, the opposite happens.

Sometimes, the carefully planned dish you're spent days dreaming of and gathering ingredients, and choosing a nice bottle of wine to go with, and cleaning your house so it looks nice when your future in-laws come over for dinner, and imagining how pretty and wonderful it will be to post pictures of it on The Yellow Spatula; just looks like a pile of mush!

But then, it makes your whole house smell so wonderful while it cooks and you can't wait to try it even though it looks a little crazy. So you serve it up and dig in, and it's half gone even before you can take a picture of it!

This is the story of the next dish.  I call it:

Don't Judge an Eggplant Lasagna By Its Cover

Serves 4 with plenty of leftovers

Here's what you'll need:
1 peeled eggplant, sliced in long, thin pieces (I used a mandoline slicer)
1 can drained kidney beans
2 chopped zucchini
2 chopped carrots
1 cup chopped mushrooms
2 cups spinach
1/2 chopped onion
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 minced garlic cloves
To taste: crushed basil, fennel seeds, Italian seasoning, pinch of salt/pepper
Tomato sauce (leftover works fine)
Daiya cheese (I used shredded pepperjack)
Cashew cheese (Basic cashew cheese recipe from here; I left out the lemon because my favorite wine consultant Bob told me the acidity in the main dish would catastrophically destroy the delicate flavors of the wine he helped me choose. If you too would like a wine consultant, I can't recommend this guy enough. Please go visit his store and buy lots of wine from him.)

Here's what to do:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Set a cookie sheet underneath the oven shelf where you'll bake the lasagna (prevent spillage!).
Grease your baking dish (I used TJ's coconut oil spray).
Sautee all the veggies, carrots first, until soft but not mushy.
Drain and rinse the beans, add them to the sautee.
Let the layering begin!
Put a layer of tomato sauce in the bottom of the baking dish.
Follow it with a layer of eggplant on top. It's ok if the eggplant slices overlap a bit to fill up the dish.
Top it off with a layer of cashew cheese.
Repeat: sauce, eggplant, cashew cheese until you've used up all the eggplant.
Sprinkle the top of the dish with the daiya cheese.
Cover with tinfoil.
Bake for about 40 minutes until everything is bubbly .
Remove tinfoil and broil for about 3 minutes until the cheese is melty and browning and incredibly wonderful.  Don't leave the oven while you work on this. In fact, don't let your hand leave the oven door handle while you watch the browning action like a hawk, or you'll burn it and things will get sad.
Remove from the oven and please let it sit for about 5 minutes so your guests don't burn their tongues.
Serve, with some perfectly paired wine like this one (but Bob has a better price).

It's like, really good.

And the moral of the story is, beauty is in the eye of the forkholder!

Have fun, Spatulettes!  Au revoir 'til next time!

Future in-laws enjoying lasagna!
I didn't even have to trick them into eating cashew cheese!

Clean Plate Club. Didn't let the dogs help.

Served with Matzah Popovers.
I'll tell you about 'em sometime!

Totally unrelated, but LOOK! This happened!

1 comment:

  1. Amanda this look so yummy! And that picture of the two of you is TOO cute :) <3