Lasagnaesque Eggplant and Squash
August 9, 2011
To be honest, the only thing that this really borrows from lasagna is tomato sauce and cheese, but really – aren’t those the two most important parts of lasagna? Since I still had an eggplant, and a few pattypan squash, I thought that they would make a good base, especially grilled. I also decided it would be amusing to make tomato sauce out of orange and yellow tomatoes. Why, you ask? Because I can! I had to supplement a bit with an heirloom tomato since I didn’t have quite enough orange and yellow ones, but overall the result was a nice orange color.
I wanted to make sure that I used enough cheese that the dish tasted rich, but not enough that it was overly high in fat. So I used a couple ounces each of lowfat havarti and goat cheese (from Haystack Mountain). I also used a small amount of of shaved pecorino romano.
Since I didn’t use any lasagna noodles, we just had protein and vegetables, so I added some boiled fingerling potatoes as a side (I would have grilled them, but by that time I was out of energy – and time).
Orange Tomato Sauce
makes about 2 – 2+1/2 cups
about 4+1/2 cups orange and yellow tomatoes, chopped (do not remove the seeds)
2 spring onions, finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp olive oil
3/4 tsp sugar
3/4 tsp salt
4 sprigs fresh thyme (you could use basil or oregano instead)
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and onions and sauté for a about two minutes until somewhat translucent. Add the tomatoes, sugar, and salt, and cook on medium until the tomatoes break down and the sauce thickens, stirring frequently. (This will take a while, just be patient and let the liquid evaporate a bit. I think it took around 15 minutes for me. I also turned the heat up to medium high briefly a couple of times, just to get it simmering more, and then went back to medium.) Add the leaves from the sprigs of thyme (just run your thumb and finger along the stem the ‘wrong way’ – this will cause all of the leaves to fall off), and stir to mix in. Remove from the heat. I stored this in the refrigerator until I was ready to use it for the main dish.
And now on to the rest of the lasagnaesque preparations!
Lasagnaesque Eggplant and Squash
3 pattypan squash, roughly the same diameter as the eggplant
1 batch orange tomato sauce (see above)
2 oz lowfat havarti, grated
2 oz goat cheese, very thinly sliced or crumbled
3/8 oz (~10 g) shaved pecorino romano
1 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Slice the eggplant crosswise into about 1/2 inch thick slices. Slice the pattypan squash into 1/2 inch thick slices as well, cutting parallel to their ‘equators’. Brush both sides of each eggplant and squash slice with olive oil. Grill over medium-high heat for 6 minutes, flipping half-way. Check the tenderness of the pieces. Mine were getting dark, but were not yet that tender, so I turned the grill down to medium-low, flipped them again, and grilled for another 6 minutes, flipping again halfway through that.
Once the eggplant and squash are done, spread about 1/4 of the tomato sauce in a 2 quart (or a little larger) casserole dish. Then spread a layer of eggplant on the bottom, filling in any gaps with squash if needed. Next, sprinkle the havarti evenly over the eggplant, followed by the goat cheese. Gently put half of the remaining tomato sauce on top, spreading it out evenly. Now layer the remaining squash on top of that. Follow with the pecorino romano, and then top with the remaining tomato sauce.
Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 25-30 minutes, until cheese is melted, and everything is well heated.