Inspiration for this came from having a quantity of my lasagna cheese mixture leftover. This mix is wonderful all by itself, but who wants to eat a pile of cheese? Summer was coming to an end with its usual bounty. Enter eggplant and tomatoes! This entree went over so well that I planned it into the next year’s garden so as to have plenty of component parts for the freezer. Directions in the recipe below describe roasting eggplant. I describe the process on YouTube below. (You can also watch all of our eggplant videos here.)
Roasted Eggplant Ingredients
- 2 large eggplants in 1/2 inch rounds
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 tablespoon high-heat oil of choice
- 4 cups ricotta cheese
- 4 cups grated mozzarella cheese
- 3 cups freshly grated Romano or Parmesan cheese, with one cup set aside
- 2 tablespoons minced fresh Italian flat-leafed parsley
- 5 tablespoons minced fresh basil
- 3-5 large garden tomatoes sliced into thin rounds, one round for each round of eggplant
Roasted Eggplant Steps
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
- Brush the eggplant with the oil and place on a cookie sheet with sides.
- Roast for 20-25 minutes and then turn the rounds over. Sprinkle with garlic and roast for another 20 minutes.
- While the eggplant roasts, mix the cheeses, except for 1 cup of the Romano/Parmesan. Add the parsley and basil. Mix well.
- Remove tray of roasted eggplant to a safe working spot. Divide the cheese mixture among the eggplant rounds. Using the back of a spoon, spread the cheese mix as best you can to the edges of the eggplant.
- Press a tomato slice into the cheese on each eggplant round.
- Sprinkle the remaining Romano/Parmesan on the tomato slices.
- Put the tray back in the oven or under the broiler to melt the cheeses to a bubbly point. Watch for burning. This is too precious a dish to lose it now!
- Serve immediately with a cold, crisp salad or simply wedges of Japanese cucumber.
Freezer Food: Roasted Eggplant Rounds with Italian Cheeses
To have enjoy this dish all winter long, try this method for freezing the ingredients:
- Roast and freeze the eggplant rounds. They can be frozen in a single layer on the cookie sheets, then stacked in freezer bags for easy handling.
- Slice and freeze tomatoes that fit the size of your eggplant rounds. Follow the same freezing procedure as for the eggplant.
- The cheese mix freezes well. You can make up a mountain of it then freeze in amounts needed for a meal. You will have to thaw out the cheese ahead of time.
- The tomatoes and eggplant stay frozen until you are ready for assembly.
- Assemble as described above.
- Cook in a 350 degree oven until all is hot and sizzling, about 50 minutes.
- Finish under the broiler for a bubbly and crusty cheese. Your kitchen will smell like summer garden wonderful.