Would you believe that, for once in my life I actually followed a recipe? I mean, to the letter. It took awhile for the realization to sink in, but now that it has, I think I'm okay with it.
The recipe is from a cookbook called Sundays at Moosewood. Sunday nights are International nights at Moosewood, and so this three-inch-thick tome is divided into chapters like Finland, New England, Provence, and Sub-Saharan Africa. The Black Bread and Tomato Soup from this weekend's feast were from the Eastern Europe chapter. Seeing as how the book has only been in my possession since Christmas, (thanks Mom!) I'm looking forward to many happy years of thumbing those worldly recipes and making some tasty food.
Tonight, I was looking for eggplant recipes. Two huge gallon-sized bags of eggplant were occupying valuable freezer real estate, so I emptied one to make this. It's downright tasty!
Transylvanian Eggplant Casserole
6 cups eggplant, cubed
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 cups chopped onions
4 cups chopped mushrooms
4 medium tomatoes, chopped
3/4 tsp dried thyme
1 1/2 tsp dried marjoram
salt and pepper to taste
4 1/2 cups cooked rice
juice of one lemon
1/4 cup chopped parsley
2 tbsp pine nuts
4 eggs, well-beaten
1/2 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs
2/3 cup pine nuts, ground
3 tbsp vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spread the eggplant out on a baking sheet, and slide it into the oven for 20-25 minutes.
Meanwhile, start the rice cooking, and saute some vegetables: warm the 2 tbsp oil in a large frying pan. Cook the onions until translucent, then add the mushrooms. When they've browned and given off their lovely mushroomy juices, throw in the tomatoes and seasonings, and continue to cook, stirring, until the tomatoes disintegrate.
Add the lemon juice, parsley, and 2 tbsp pine nuts to the rice. Grease a 9 x 14 baking dish (the deeper, the better), and spread half the rice mixture in the bottom. Top with half the eggplant, then half the sauteed vegetables. Repeat the layers. Pour the eggs in on top of everything.
Bake, covered, for 30 minutes at 350 degrees.
Heat the 3 tbsp oil in a frying pan, and saute the bread crumbs and ground pine nuts together until lightly browned. After the casserole bakes for 30 minutes, spread the sauteed crumbs over the surface, and return it to the oven, sans lid, to bake for another 10 minutes.
Serve with salad and wine. Enjoy!
Oh, and the title is meant to be read in the voice of The Count from Sesame Street. Right.
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