There is nothing better than a fresh vegetable casserole in the summertime.
This is the perfect summer meal with vegetables from the garden. Just add a refreshing salad, some crusty buttered bread, and of course, your favorite people! Enjoy!
1 large eggplant (about 1 pound), peeled and cut into ½-inch slices
olive oil to drizzle
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried basil
Salt and black pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
1 (24-ounce) jar marinara sauce
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese
1 (16-ounce) package Ricotta cheese
1 cup plain panko bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
For garnish: chopped fresh basil leaves
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place eggplant slices in a single layer in 12 x 16-inch greased rimmed baking pan. Sprinkle with oregano, basil, salt, and pepper. Cover tightly with foil, and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until soft. Set aside. For marinara sauce, in a saucepan, brown ground beef. Add marinara sauce, and cook, stirring for 5 minutes. Set aside. For cream sauce, with mixer beat cream cheese until creamy. Beat in Ricotta cheese and egg until blended. Set aside. For assembly, in a 9 x 13-inch greased baking dish, pour a third of marinara sauce on bottom of dish. Arrange a third of eggplant on top of sauce. Add a third of cream sauce. Repeat 2 times. For crumb topping, combine bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese. Sprinkle on top of casserole. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil leaves.
Yield: 8-10 servings