The season for lovin’ has arrived! The birds are chirping, the bees are buzzing, and Valentine’s Day is in just a few day. Spoil your sweetie this V-Day with a special, homemade meal for two. Go Organic ME’s prep kitchen is preparing some very romantic dinners that are sure to please the special person in your life!
Rustic Bread and Eggplant Lasagne.
Rustic Bread & Eggplant Lasagna Serves 9-12
3 Tbs Olive Oil 4-6 Cloves Garlic, minced (optional) 2 28 oz Cans Organic Tomatoes, blended 2 tsp Salt 4 tsp Dried Italian Herbs Olive Oil, for drizzling 2-3 Medium Eggplants, peeled 8-10 Large Slices of Sourdough Bread 1 Cup Breadcrumbs (or 2 more pieces of bread for toasting and food processing) 1-2 Large, Ripe Tomatoes, fresh, for garnish Basil, for garnish
In a very large skillet with high sides, or a sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Sweat the garlic for 1-2 minutes, then add tomatoes, salt, and herbs. Cook for 30 minutes (bubbling), stirring occasionally. Invert a mesh strainer over the top of the pan to prevent splatter, if desired.
Preheat oven to 400º F.
Meanwhile, prep two baking sheets with parchment paper. Peel the eggplants by slicing off the top and bottom and using the cut edge to start your vegetable peeler. Holding the eggplant vertically, cut the eggplants into 1/2 inch slices. Arrange in one layer on a baking sheet. Sprinkle with salt and drizzle liberally with olive oil.
Bake eggplant for 30-40 minutes at 400º, turning once, until very, very soft and browned in some places.
Spray both sides of each slice of bread with spray oil and “grill” in a hot skillet until browned on both sides. You can also simply toast the bread, but I think you get more flavor with grilling.
In a large baking dish (a lasagna dish), spread 1 1/2 cups of tomato sauce. Line the bottom of the dish with bread, filling as many as the gaps as possible without overlapping.
Place half of the eggplant on top of the bread, followed by another 1 to 1 1/2 cups tomato sauce.
Add a second layer of bread.
Add the second half of the eggplant, and all of the remaining sauce. Make sure that the bread is completely covered by sauce. Sprinkle breadcrumbs over the top.
Place fresh tomato slices on the top of the lasagna, sprinkled with salt and pepper.
Bake for 40 minutes at 400º F. Remove from oven and let rest 10 minutes before cutting.
Top with basil leaves and drizzle sweet and thick balsamic vinegar (or balsamic syrup) on the plate if desired. Enjoy!