Eggplant Bake

Blog_primary_eggplant bake 01

Serves 10

Ingredients

  • 120ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 100g (1 large) onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig rosemary
  • Sea salt flakes
  • 20ml red wine vinegar
  • 680g (1 jar) tomato passata
  • 1 (550g) eggplant
  • 200g button mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 sprigs rosemary
  • 20g butter
  • 120g baby spinach leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 100g ricotta cheese/cheddar
  • 30g finely grated parmesan

Method

Preheat the oven to 220C. Place a medium sized pan on the stove over medium heat, add 20ml olive oil and the onion and cook for 3 minutes. Add the garlic, rosemary and a large pinch of salt and cook for a futher 3 minutes.

Deglaze the pan with the red wine vinegar, add the passata, turn to the lowest heat and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice the eggplant lengthways into 1 cm thick slices, drizzle with the 80ml olive oil and a generous pinch of sea salt. Heat a large pan over medium high heat, add another 20ml of olive oil and cook the eggplant until golden on both sides (about 6 minutes), then remove from the pan and set aside.

Using the same pan, add 20ml olive oil and saute the mushrooms with the rosemary and butter until tender. Stir in the baby spinach to wilt, season and remove from the heat.

Using a 24cm square baking dish (or similar), assemble the bake. Start with an even cover of the tomato base on the bottom, followed by a single layer of the eggplant, a scattering of basil, then the mushroom spinach mix. Layer again with more tomato, eggplant, tomato and finally top with cheese.

Place into the preheated oven and bake for 25 minutes or until the top is lovely and golden. Allow to cool for 15 minutes before serving.