Eggplant Mushroom Casserole, Evolved
- Yield 8 servings
Meaty — yet low-calorie — eggplant is the centerpiece of this classic Italian dish.
"When I was growing up, my grandmother had a summer garden full of every vegetable that could be grown in our southern Alabama climate. One of her personal favorites was eggplant, and she always prepared her Eggplant Mushroom Casserole for our July 4 cookout. It always came out a gray mass of mush and she was the only one who would eat it. I decided to evolve her eggplant effort, and my family loved it."
- 7 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 3 or 4 medium eggplants, sliced about 1/2-inch thick (about 3 pounds total)
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 cups shredded Four-Blend Italian cheese
- 1 1/2 cups grated Parmesan
- 1 egg white, beaten
- 2 cups sliced mushrooms
- 2 (16-ounce) jars spaghetti sauce
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Grease a 13 x 9-inch glass baking dish.
- Line two large cookie sheets with foil. Brush the foil with 3 tablespoons of the olive oil. Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on cookie sheets and brush with the remaining 1/4 cup olive oil. Sprinkle the slices with the garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.
- Bake 7 minutes. Switch the pans from top to bottom racks and bake 8 minutes, or until the eggplant is lightly browned. Remove from the oven and let stand 5 minutes. The eggplant may stick to the foil if removed immediately. Reduce the heat to 350 degrees F.
- Combine the Italian cheese with 1 cup of the Parmesan in a bowl; toss until well blended. Add the egg white and stir until blended.
- Place 1/3 of the eggplant in the bottom of the prepared pan. Top with half of the mushrooms, 1/3 of the spaghetti sauce, and half of the cheese mixture. Repeat the layers once and then top with the remaining eggplant and spaghetti sauce.
- Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup Parmesan, and bake, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Let stand for 30 minutes before serving.
Recipe by Dana Turberville, Uriah, Ala.