Sunday, August 21, 2011

Eggplant and Tomato Casserole

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia
It is probably just as well that my phone, which I use to take all my pictures for this blog, is broken.  I wouldn't want to show you a picture of this stuff anyway.  It does not look tasty, but boy is it!  My kids didn't like it, but I think it was just too much of a "grown-up" dish, not so pleasing to a child's palate...either that or they couldn't get over how yucky it looked!

Really, it is yummy though, so just close your eyes when you eat it if you need to.  It's worth it!

Considering I didn't have to pay for any of the vegetables (either I grew them or a friend did) or the venison (my father-in-law's hunting bounty he shared with us), I estimate this meal cost about $2 to feed the family.  

Eggplant and Tomato Casserole

1 medium eggplant, pared and sliced 1/4 thick
salt, to taste
1/3 lb ground meat
1 small onion, halved and sliced thinly
2 tbsp fresh basil
4 medium tomatoes, sliced thinly
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup Italian bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 350.  Season the eggplant with the salt and let stand for 10-15 minutes.  Drain off liquid that forms.

Brown ground meat, adding onions and basil toward end of cooking time; set aside.  Quickly brown eggplant slices on each side.

Place 1/3 of the eggplant slices in a casserole dish.  Layer 1/3 of the tomatoes, 1/3 of the meat mixture, 1/3 cup of the cheese, 1/3 of the tomatoes, 1/3 of the meat mixture, 1/3 of the cheese, and the last of the tomatoes.  Drizzle balsamic vinegar over the tomatoes, then layer on the last of the meat mixture and the last of the cheese.  Mix olive oil and bread crumbs; spread over casserole.  Bake for 30 minutes until top is golden brown and eggplant is tender.

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