Christine Datian layers Mediterranean flavors - seasoned ground lamb and slices of eggplant - then tops the works with bread crumbs and feta cheese and bakes it. The result is a simple, hearty dish.
2 pounds pounds eggplant
About 3 tablespoons olive oil
2 slices (1/2 in. thick and 4 to 5 in. long) French bread
1 pound ground lamb
1 onion (8 oz.), peeled and chopped
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 tablespoon prepared mustard
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 ounces ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup chopped parsley
How to Make It
Rinse and dry eggplant; slice crosswise into 1/4-inch-thick rounds, discarding ends. Brush both sides of rounds lightly with oil and place in a single layer on two 12- by 15-inch baking sheets. Bake in a 400° regular or convection oven until browned and tender when pierced, 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, cut or tear bread into 1/2-inch chunks. Put in a food processor or blender and whirl into coarse crumbs; you should have 1 cup. In a 10- to 12-inch nonstick frying pan over medium-high heat, stir crumbs in 1/2 tablespoon olive oil until lightly browned and crisp, about 5 minutes. Pour from pan.
In the same pan over medium-high heat, stir lamb until crumbled and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. With a slotted spoon, transfer lamb to a bowl. Drain all but 1 teaspoon fat from pan. Add onion, mushrooms, and garlic and stir occasionally until onion is limp and mushrooms are browned, about 8 minutes. Add tomato sauce, wine, mustard, basil, oregano, salt, pepper, and the browned lamb. Bring to a simmer and cook, stirring often, to blend flavors, about 10 minutes.
Arrange half the eggplant slices in a single layer over the bottom of a shallow 2- to 3-quart baking dish; top with half the lamb mixture. Repeat layers of eggplant and lamb mixture. Sprinkle top with bread crumbs and feta cheese.
Bake in a 350° regular or convection oven until browned and bubbling, 20 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. Scoop out servings with a large spoon.
This casserole is drop dead delicious. I substituted crumbled goat cheese for the feta and it was so good I couldn't believe it. Husband LOVED it as well. Even better the next day for lunch! Cheap, easy and incredibly good--what more could you want??
I'm not a big fan of eggplant, but got some in my veggie basket this week. I tried this and it is FABULOUS! This is actually the first time I have left a review on one of the recipes I have tried because it is THAT GOOD!
This was okay, but I don't think I would make it again. I made it with beef -- I love lamb so I don't know why I didn't use lamb, which I think would have been much better. Also my eggplant was bitter -- I should have prep it by salting it before hand to draw out the bitterness. The recipe has potential, but just didn't come together for me.
My fiance and I really liked this dish, the flavors worked fabulously together. I'm definitely going to incorporate this recipe into the vault of ones to keep for years to come. It's great for casual weekday nights as well as potluck dinners.
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