Sam's been interested in trying new fruits and vegetables lately, something I'd hate to discourage. On our most recent trip to the store he was fascinated with eggplant, yet another vegetable I haven't normally cooked or eaten but of course I was willing to give it a try.
Cheesy Eggplant Casserole
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into 1/4" pieces
1 T salt
3/4 c breadcrumbs
1-2 eggs, beaten
olive oil for pan frying
1 lb ground turkey
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes in juice
1/4 c fresh oregano
1 T fresh thyme
6 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
Rub salt on the eggplant slices, place slices in a collander and set aside for 30 minutes. Rinse and dry the eggplant slices, dip in eggs, and then into breadcrumbs. Brown the slices in olive oil, about 2 minutes per side at medium high temperature. Place slices in the bottom of a pan or casserole dish (I used an 11"x7" because I had a small eggplant).
Drain tomato juice and grind up the tomatoes (I used my immersion blender for this)
Brown turkey in a little oil if necessary. Add onion and garlic and cook until soft. Add tomatoes, herbs, and salt. Pour the sauce over the eggplant. Top with cheese.
Bake about an hour at 350 until the eggplant is soft. I assembled this two days in advance then baked it and that worked just fine. It made about 8 small servings.
Verdict: Sam loved it and wanted it in his lunch the next day. Ben liked it but thought it would be better with noodles - he thought it should be lasagna. I liked it but thought it might be nicer with a bit more kick, perhaps a little cayenne.