Updated April 18, 2017
large eggplants, sliced 1/4 inch thick
can (28 oz) tomato sauce (sauce)
tablespoon herbs de provence (sauce)
tablespoon dried oregano (sauce)
teaspoon red pepper flakes (sauce)
teaspoon kosher salt (sauce)
tablespoons olive oil (sauce)
bunch spinach, blanched (filling)
container (15 oz) ricotta (filling)
lemon juice and zest only (filling)
tablespoons fresh mint (filling)
cup olive oil (for roasting eggplant)
cup kosher salt (for pressing eggplant)
Wash your eggplant and slice them long-wise into 1/4 inch slices. Layer the slices in a colander and sprinkle each layer heavily with kosher salt.
Find a bowl that fits nicely in the colander on top of the eggplant and fill it with water to give it some weight. Set the bowl on top of the eggplant to press it down. This will squeeze out some of the bitter eggplant liquid. Let it sit for 30 minutes.
Rinse eggplant slices well with cold water to wash off salt. Dry off the eggplant and line the slices up on two baking sheets. Drizzle both sides of eggplant slices liberally with olive oil. Bake eggplant at 350°F for about 7-8 minutes per side. They should be soft, but not scorched. Remove them from the oven and let them cool.
For sauce, mix tomato sauce with spices and taste for salt and pepper. Set aside until needed.
For filling, wash spinach well and chop off any large stems. Dunk spinach in heavily salted water for 20-30 seconds until it wilts. Remove spinach to a colander lined with paper towels to let the spinach drain. Let it cool until you can handle it.
Squeeze out as much liquid as possible from the spinach and roughly chop it up. Mix chopped spinach with other filling ingredients.
To build lasagna, add a small amount of sauce to the bottom of a greased 9x13-inch pan. Add a layer of eggplant slices. Add a bit more sauce and half of your ricotta filling. Add another layer of eggplant slices and the last half of the filling. Add more sauce also. You should use about 1/4 of the sauce for each layer.
Add a final layer of eggplant, a bit more sauce, and the fresh sliced mozzarella.
Cover lasagna with foil and bake for 40 minutes at 350°F. Then uncover and bake for another 20 minutes. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
More About This Recipe
- Lasagna is one of those dishes that most people feel comfortable making because, frankly, it's pretty hard to mess up.Cook some noodles, layer them with some cheese, sauce, and more cheese. How bad could it be, right?My problem with some lasagna, though, is the noodles can be a bit too thick – unless you make them yourself. It's not like I don't use store bought noodles on occasion. I definitely do. And I will never turn it down if someone else makes it.But the basic idea behind lasagna (layers of cheese and more cheese) can be done with all kinds of different things. Specifically, I think eggplant works really well instead of the thick noodles. You can layer them really easily – just like noodles – and the end result is almost like a big eggplant parmesan casserole.Even if you're a serious carnivore, this dish is substantial enough to please everyone - vegetarians and meat eaters alike.The final product should be nice and browned on top and bubbling.Definitely let this cool before serving it up. Get your hands on some good crusty bread to go with it and you'll be all set!