Sunday cooking -Baked vegetables with cheese

This dish is perfect for fall, I cook it for every family occasion and it in fact became my “signature dish”. I may even cook it for Thanksgiving. It was inspired by Ratatouille but without zucchini and it includes a lot of cheese.

Time – 30 minutes

Portions – 4 -6

Ingredients:

  • 1 big or 2 medium-sized eggplants
  • 1 pack (300 g) of white mushrooms (cut in small pieces/slices)
  • 1 onion (cut in small pieces)
  • Few spoons of minced garlic
  • 2 medium-sized tomatoes (cut into small slices)
  • 1 bottle of marinara sauce
  • Grind cheese (I used “pizza mix”) (about 200-300 g)
  • Spices (I used paprika, Italian mix, red pepper flakes, garlic salt, “herbs de Provence”,  vegetable spices, chilli pepper)
  • Olive oil
  • 2 slices of bread and/or bread crumbs
  • Parmesan cheese (optional)

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Instructions

  1. Cut eggplant in half, and slice each half into thin (1 cm or less) slices
  2. Place a frying pan on a medium heat, add olive oil and fry eggplant slices
  3. Sprinkle eggplant slices with all spices (listed in Ingredients above), add more olive oil and turn slices on the other side to make sure they fry well
  4. Place a foil paper in the oven-proof big dish, wipe it with olive oil and move  eggplants slices there as you fry them so that they all cover the bottom. You may need to reduce the heat for the frying pan to low.
  5. Once all eggplants are fried and placed in the oven dish, place sliced mushrooms, onions and garlic in the same frying pan, add spices and olive oil and increase the heat on the frying pan to medium, stir frequently
  6. Turn on your oven to 400 C (200 F)
  7. Pour a half a bottle of marinara sauce on all eggplants, use spoon to spread the sauce evenly. Cover the sauce with the grinded cheese
  8. Add tomato slices to the frying pan with mushrooms and onions, stir
  9. As tomatoes release some juice and mushrooms and onions get a more “golden” colour, turn off the heat from the frying pan and  add the mix on top of the eggplants, use spoon to spread the mushroom mix evenly
  10. Cover mushrooms with marinara sauce, then add small pieces of bread and bread crumbs on top, add Parmesan cheese and other grinded cheese and place it in the oven at 400 F for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese have melted and bread crumbs have turned light brown

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