Eggplant Casserole

 

Eggplant Casserole...

 

Hearty vegetables combine with a red sauce and a Panko crumb topping for a delicious meatless meal.  If you must have the meat, this would be a fabulous side dish to complement say, Chicken Parmesan or even a piccata dish.

Recently, I had a small eggplant that needed to be used, as well as a package of tri-color peppers I hadn’t used in a crudité.  That, and I just happened to have purchased a package of the most beautiful portobello mushrooms.  I decided to utilize them all together.

I made my red sauce, super simple and quick.  As you can see from the ingredients, I never add sugar to my red sauce.  But, I do always add wine.  I think it must be the sugars in the wine that counter any acidity from the tomatoes.  You could just as easily toss of on jar of your favorite marinara…yes, I heard that many of you do that!  😉

Then, the topping is a simple Panko bread crumb mixture that goes on top prior to baking the dish.

Mr. Saucy is a meat fan.  Every so often, although I plan on doing it much more, I slip in a completely meatless meal.  Eggplant is one of the really fabulous meat substitutes, as are portobellos; combining the two in this dish really makes for a hearty meal.

The layers of color are so beautiful and the flavors…oh, my…so delicious!  Try it!

P~

Eggplant Casserole
 
Hearty vegetables (eggplant, portobello mushrooms and peppers) combine with a red sauce and a Panko crumb topping for a delicious meatless meal.
Author:
Recipe type: Entree, Side dish
Ingredients
  • FOR THE VEGETABLE LAYER:
  • 1 small eggplant, sliced about ¼ inch thick
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced in rings about ¼ inch thick
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced in rings about ¼ inch thick
  • 1 green bell pepper, sliced in rings about ¼ inch thick
  • 3 large portobello mushrooms, sliced about ¼ inch thick
  • FOR THE RED SAUCE:
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • FOR THE CRUMB TOPPING:
  • 2 cups Panko bread crumbs (Japanese bread crumbs...can be found in the oriental specialty section of the market)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 can anchovies, minced (optional)
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. FOR THE EGG PLANT LAYER:
  3. In a large greased casserole, arrange the eggplant, peppers and mushroom slices...alternating the colors of the peppers...and overlapping the ingredients as pictured.
  4. FOR THE RED SAUCE:
  5. In a medium-sized sauce pan, heated on medium heat, add the olive oil, onions and garlic.
  6. Saute for 2 minutes, or until softened.
  7. Add the dried spices and continue to saute for one minute.
  8. Add the remaining red sauce ingredients and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  9. Pour the red sauce over the layers in the casserole.
  10. FOR THE TOPPING:
  11. In a ziplock bag, mix all the ingredients until blended and all the bread crumbs are moistened.
  12. Pour over the red sauce evenly.
  13. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes, or until the contents are bubbling and the crumb mixture is browned. If the crumbs begin browning too quickly, cover with a piece of aluminum foil, remove for the final 10 minutes of cooking.

 

The eggplant, peppers and mushroom slices arranged, overlapping, in a greased casserole...

A super simple red sauce simmering...

Topped with the Panko mixture...

Hot and bubbly from the oven...

 

About P ~ The Saucy Southerner

I started cooking when I was ten years old. For me, the process of cooking, from inception of a dish, to the execution, to the washing of the pots is sheer delight. I am now retired from a business I still own, in partnership with my husband. I used to work six days a week and still cook every night. Now, I'm gardening, still cooking, always having fun and hoping to share my joy with you. Thank you for reading...and commenting! P~
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