This recipe came at the suggestion of our friends Missy and Philip from Old Friends Farm. It is easy to make and you could tweak it many ways by substituting squash, potatoes or zucchini for the eggplant. It is surprising filling and one recipe served four adults.
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion - chopped
4 cloves garlic slice thin
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano and dried thyme
1 pound ground lamb from Leyden Glen Farm
2 large eggplant (or zucchini)
1 small container ricotta cheese
6 medium tomatoes - cut into 1/2" slices4 ounces mozzarella cheese (shredded, sliced or hunks)
handful basil - cut into thin strips
olive oil spray
salt and pepper
Cut eggplant into round slices about 1/2" thick. You will need 2 slices per stack. Spray a baking sheet with olive oil spray. Place eggplant on tray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a 375 degree oven until soft - about 15 minutes. Remove from oven but keep the oven on.
Meanwhile in a saute pan, heat a tablespoon of olive oil. Cook garlic and onions until translucent. Add lamb, breaking it into small pieces and thyme and oregano. Cook until the meat is cooked through. Pour off the excess grease and hold.
Spray a casserole pan with some olive oil. Build each stack as follows:
1 piece eggplant
small amount of lamb mixture
small dollop of ricotta cheese
1 piece of tomato
bit of cut basil, salt, and pepper
and repeat above to make a nice high stack.
If you are worried about them falling over, steady with toothpicks but don't forget they are in there when you are eating!
Make as many as you have ingredients for. One eggplant yielded four stacks in our kitchen.
Place the leftover bits of cut tomatoes into the bottom of the casserole dish - they will turn into sauce. Cover with aluminum foil and bake at 375 until bubbly (about 25-30 minutes). Remove from oven, take off foil and top each stack with some mozzarella cheese. Broil until bubbly and brown flecked.