Saturday, October 24, 2009

Experiment with Eggplant - Part 2

Right after I graduated from college, I spent a lot of time in New York City interviewing for various jobs.  I stayed with Rory, a college friend of mine, and her aunt many nights.  I was jobless and broke, but I wanted to pay back their hospitality.  I often cooked dinner for them, and my friend was going through a vegetarian stage.  The following recipe was a favorite of hers.

Eggplant Florentine

1 large eggplant, cut into 8 diagonal slices

¾ cup dried bread crumbs

1 cup chopped onion

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups crushed tomatoes

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon dried red pepper flakes

dash freshly ground black pepper

2 cups frozen chopped spinach (one 10-ounce package), thawed and drained

1 ¾ cups part-skim ricotta cheese

1 large egg

1 ½ ounces grated Parmesan cheese

Instructions 

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

2.  On large sheet of wax paper, dredge eggplant slices in bread crumbs, coating both sides; place on 1 or 2 nonstick baking sheets.  Bake 15 minutes; turn and bake 15 minutes longer, until tender.  Cool slightly.

3.  Meanwhile, spray large nonstick skillet with nonstick cooking spray; add onion and garlic.  Cook over medium-high heat until onion is translucent, about 3 minutes.  Add tomatoes, basil, oregano, and red and black pepper.  Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 15 minutes.  Set aside.

4.  In medium bowl, combine remaining ingredients until thoroughly blended.  Spread 2 heaping tablespoons of spinach mixture on each lice of eggplant and roll to enclose.

5.  Pour half the sauce into 13-by-9-inch baking pan.  Arrange eggplant rolls seam side down; pour remaining sauce over top.  Cover with aluminum foil and bake until heathed through, about 25 minutes.

Makes 4 Servings

Each Serving Provides:  2 ½ Proteins; 3 ¾ Vegetables; 1 Bread

Per Serving:  394 Calories, 27 g Protein, 15 g Fat, 42 g Carbohydrate, 667 mg Calcium, 581 mg Sodium, 96 mg Cholesterol, 7 g Dietary Fiber.

4 comments:

Mary on October 24, 2009 at 5:00 PM said...

I can't wait to try this Michelle! It sounds so yummy!

Tawny on October 24, 2009 at 5:08 PM said...

Oh man, this sounds delicious!!!

lauragrahambooth on October 25, 2009 at 6:59 PM said...

*drool*

Thanks for sharing, Michelle! I need to go buy more eggplant! :)

Michelle Butler on October 31, 2009 at 12:08 PM said...

Mary, Tawny and Laura:
Let me know if you end up making this and what you think of it. I haven't made it for awhile, but my friend Rory really did LOVE, LOVE, LOVE it.

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