Eggplant Casserole

Eggplant is not only gorgeous but also full of vitamins, fiber and nutrients that are good for your heart, bones and brain. At only 35 calories per cup it also a good option for a weight management program. Eggplant contains flavonoids giving them their luscious purple color. Flavonoids are attributed to reducing cancer, heart disease, asthma and stroke so don’t peel off the eggplant skin because that’s where the flavonoids live! For this recipe, you are going to bake more eggplant as is needed for the casserole. One third will be saved for the Eggplant and Cucumber Pita recipe.

I purchased the eggplant and tomatoes at Stout Oak Farm in Brentwood, NH. The variety of vegetables and other food items is delightful!

This recipe contains low fat cottage cheese and feta, so while not a low calorie dish, it is definitely a healthier choice than most cheesie, carbohydrate filled alternatives (which I also adore).

For visual appeal, I use Eggplant Listada De Gandia with its variegated color scheme and the traditional Amadeo Eggplant. Eggplant season is July through October. Look for varieties at your farm stand or farmer’s market!

Ingredients

  • 2 medium eggplants

  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme

  • 4 tablespoons olive oil

  • 1 cup chopped onion

  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 large eggs, beaten

  • 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled

  • 1 cup small curd, low fat cottage cheese

  • 1/2 cup fresh basil, chopped

  • Juice from 1/2 lemon

  • 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

  • 1 can cannellini beans

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  • Slice the eggplant into 1/3-inch-thick discs or rounds. Place on a parchment paper lined baking sheet that has been lightly oiled with olive oil. Lightly brush the top of each slice with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and thyme. Bake uncovered for 20 minutes or until lightly brown.
  • Saute the onions, garlic and oregano in a skillet until tender.
  • In a bowl, combine the eggs, Feta cheese, cottage cheese, and half of the basil.
  • Lightly oil a casserole dish. The casserole dish needs to be deep enough to contain all ingredients with some room at the top.
  • Cut the cooked eggplant into 1/3 inch squares and place in casserole dish. Add the sliced tomatoes, cannellini beans, onions/garlic mixture and lemon juice. Give these ingredients and gentle stir.
  • Add a handful of chopped fresh basil.
  • Spread the cheese mixture across the top.
  • Finish with some grated Parmesan cheese and another handful of chopped fresh basil.
  • Cover the casserole dish with foil but make sure the foil doesn’t stick to the cheese mixture. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes, uncover and bake until golden brown and firm.
  • Let rest for 30 minutes before serving.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

 

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