Mediterranean Eggplant Casserole

1
Francine Lizotte

By
@ClubFoody

The combination of ingredients and flavors brings comfort food to a new whole level!

Rating:

☆☆☆☆☆ 0 votes

Comments:
Serves:
6 servings
Prep:
20 Min
Cook:
50 Min
Method:
Stove Top

Ingredients

  • 2 large
    eggplants, washed and sliced to a 1/4-inch thick
  • 2 Tbsp
    ground himalayan sea salt, or as needed
  • 3 Tbsp
    olive oil or more if needed, divided
  • 1/2 large
    red onion (about 1 1/4 cups), finely chopped
  • 1 large
    poblano pepper, seeded, ribs removed and finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 lb
    lean ground beef
  • 3 large
    cloves garlic, pressed
  • ·
    freshly ground black pepper, divided, to taste (i always use mixed peppercorns)
  • 3 c
    (24 oz.) marinara sauce, such as barilla® or any good quality of sauce
  • 2 tsp
    italian seasoning
  • 1 Tbsp
    brown sugar, such as demerara (substitute palm sugar)
  • 1 c
    panko bread crumbs
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp
    fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 c
    grana padano cheese, grated
  • 1/2 c
    asiago cheese, grated
  • 1 1/2 c
    35% heavy cream
  • 1 tsp
    smoked paprika
  • 1 c
    mozzarella cheese, grated

How to Make Mediterranean Eggplant Casserole

Step-by-Step

  1. Place paper towel on a large cutting board or baking sheet. Place eggplant slices on a single layer. Sprinkle enough salt over to cover each slice; let them sit for 30 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in large skillet over medium-heat, add 1 tbsp. oil. When hot, add onions and sauté for 2 minutes. Add poblano pepper and sauté for 2 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until no longer pink. Add garlic and freshly ground black pepper; cook for 1 minute. Transfer meat mixture to a colander to drain, about 5 minutes.
  3. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Gently and firmly, dab eggplant with paper towels to extract water until dried. Transfer eggplant slices on a lightly greased baking sheet lined with foil. Brush them with oil to cover and crack some freshly ground black pepper. Transfer to preheated oven and cook for 5 to 7 minutes; remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Transfer drained beef mixture back to skillet on medium heat. Add marinara sauce, Italian seasoning and sugar; stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes.
  5. In a small bowl, combine panko with parsley; stir and set aside. In another bowl, combine Grana Padano with asiago cheese; set aside.
  6. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, combine heavy cream and paprika; whisk to blend and cook until reduce to a cup.
  7. In a lightly greased 9 x 13-inch baking dish, add a layer eggplant slices (1/3) followed by ½ beef mixture, and then ½ Parmesan mixture; repeat for the next layer finishing with eggplant slices. Pour over heavy cream mixture then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese and top with panko mixture. Transfer to the preheat oven and cook for 30 minutes or until brown. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.
  8. To view this recipe on YouTube, click on this link >>>> youtube.com/watch?v=4kQMOrYgSmY

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