ISA’S EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA PLUS
My sister-in-law shared this recipe… we tried it and it was absolutely delicious; so much so that my husband, the ultimate meat eater really, really liked it, going so far to have it for two days in a row!
I accompanied it with blanched asparagus and shaved parmesan cheese. I did use olive oil and apple cider vinegar over the asparagus!
Bon Appétit! (Recipe below)
ISA’S EGGPLANT PARMIGIANA PLUS RECIPE
1 cup of ricotta cheese
3 tablespoons of cilantro pesto (you may know it as coriander)
½ cup of Parmesan cheese
1 white onion, diced finely
½ zucchini finely diced (you can used green or yellow or a combination of both)
1 cup of cooked quinoa (I used some leftover quinoa with cremini mushrooms and blanched kale from the previous day)
2 eggplants, peeled and cut into ½ inch rounds (I could have used only one)
1 cup of a pasta sauce of your choice (add more if you need to)
½ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
Using a food processor or blender place the first 4 ingredients and blend them to form a paste, adding more of any of the ingredients to make the paste to your taste. Add the finely diced zucchini and onions to the paste.
In a Pyrex cover the bottom with some of the pasta sauce, then arrange one level of eggplant rounds, cover them with the ricotta paste plus some of the quinoa, some Parmesan cheese and a little of the pasta sauce. Then proceed to do a second and third level of the eggplant rounds.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for the first half-hour and then put the temperature up to 400 degrees for another 30 minutes. I found that since it was three levels thick it was not cooking enough at the lower temperature, so after the first half hour I decided to put the temperature up. (I guess my oven is not too hot). During the last 10 minutes of cooking time I sprinkled the mozzarella cheese and some more shredded Parmesan and put it back in the oven until the cheese melted to a nice rich color.