Maggie Beer shares her Baked Eggplant and Parmesan Bake

Baked Eggplant, Fresh Tomato, Rosemary, Lentil & Parmesan Bake

Article by 

Maggie Beer

Mediterranean-style ingredients, protein-rich lentils and sharp parmesan make a complete comforting meal in one dish.

PREP TIME: 40 mins | COOK TIME: 45 -60 minutes | SEASON: Summer to Autumn | ABILITY: Medium | SERVES: 4

INGREDIENTS

• 1 large eggplant
• 10g sea salt flakes
• 50ml extra virgin olive oil
• 2 small onions, finely chopped
• Sea salt flakes, extra, and freshly ground pepper
• 1tsp finely chopped garlic
• 1 x 10cm-long rosemary stem, leaves stripped and finely chopped
• 20ml apple cider vinegar
• 550g overripe tomatoes, roughly chopped into 1cm pieces
• ½ cup cooked brown lentils
• 2 tbsp tomato sauce
• 1 tbsp fresh basil, chopped
• 60ml olive oil
• 100g bocconcini, torn into pieces
• 60g parmesan (freshly grated, if possible)
• fresh basil or flat-leaf parsley, chopped, to serve

METHOD

  1. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 200°C and lightly grease an 18cm x 12cm baking dish.
  2. Cut the eggplant lengthways into 1cm slices, sprinkle with salt, place on a tray and set aside.
  3. Place a medium pot on the stove, add oil, chopped onions and a pinch of sea salt flakes, and cook gently for 10 minutes (don’t let the onions colour). Add the garlic and chopped rosemary and cook for a further 3-4 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the apple cider vinegar and add the chopped tomatoes. Bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15-25 minutes until the tomato has completely collapsed and the mixture has thickened.
  5. Add the cooked lentils, tomato sauce and basil, and check seasoning. Meanwhile, pat the excess moisture from the eggplant using a paper towel. Drizzle with olive oil and cook on a barbecue, hot (this isvital) plate or in a large pan, colouring both sides.
  6. Take your baking dish, place a third of the tomato sauce on the base, followed by a compact layer of eggplant. Then add another third of the tomato sauce, a sprinkle of parmesan and the remaining eggplant. Finish with the remaining tomato sauce, and top with parmesan and the torn bocconcini.
  7. Bake for 35-50 minutes (the time will vary, depending on your oven) or until golden. Remove from the oven and sit for 10 minutes before drizzling with olive oil and chopped basil or parsley. Serve.
  8. Crusty bread or salad leaves would be a nice accompaniment, but not necessary

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