I buy at least one eggplant on almost every trip I make to the grocery store. The taste of that beautiful purple plant makes me sing. I love it fried. I love it baked. I love it grilled. I love it sautéed. I love it. I love it. I love it.
Last week I wanted to try something different and by different I mean no pizza or grilled chicken. Here’s what I ended up with.
Here’s what you’ll need:
- 1 whole eggplant
- 1 bunch fresh basil leaves
- 1 cup ground turkey
- 1 cup of sliced fresh mushrooms
- 1 jar (24 oz.) regular tomato Sauce, any flavor
- 2 cups grated Mozzarella
- 2 cups grated Monterrey Jack
- cayenne pepper
- dried oregano
- seasoning salt
Preheat your oven to 350 F before you forget to and then have to wait impatiently by the stove for it to heat up. D’oh!
Start by slicing your eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. Lay them flat and apply salt to both sides. Let the eggplant “weep” for about an hour. Before some online research, I had no idea eggplant should be allowed to weep before cooking. Poor babies, holding it all in just for me.
While the eggplant sweats it out, chop up a little fresh basil. I found this brilliant little plant at the small local store. It made my day. Doesn’t take much these days.
I decided to get fancy and chiffonade the basil. This is just a fancy way of saying I cut it into thin strips. Roll up a few slices into a bundle.
Then give them a nice chop…don’t get distracted and almost chop off the tip of your thumb. Trust me on this.
Wash and slice up your mushrooms. This ingredient can most certainly be omitted if you are not a mushroom person. I am usually anti-mushroom but that hot guy I married LOVES mushrooms so I try to be considerate, the selfless person that I am.
Once the eggplant has started to “sweat” or “weep”, pat each piece dry with a paper towel and layer them in a large casserole dish.
Cover each slice with a pinch of basil
Then add a few pieces of ground turkey
Next, add a few slices of mushrooms (or not, it’s your call)
Then pour a little red sauce over this beautiful little spread
Now add a light sprinkling of cumin, seasoning salt, cayenne pepper, and oregano. I only used cumin because I didn’t have nutmeg. (If you have nutmeg, try that instead)
After giving your dish a kick of flavor, apply a generous amount of cheese. I used mozzarella and Monterrey jack…I’m partial to cheese that already comes to me shredded. One less dish for stuffed husband to wash. See, I really am selfless.
Be sure to be generous with the cheese. EVERYTHING is better with cheese. And to think…I used to be lactose intolerant. Oh, the horror!!
Repeat this process until you have used up the rest of your ingredients. Bake this at 350 F (your oven should be hot now) for at least an hour. The cheese should be nice and browned.
Serve a big bowl and garnish with basil. Try not to consume this straight out of the stove. It will burn your tongue to smithereens.
I ate more of this than I should have. I won’t even disclose the number of servings I walked away with. Ok, three. There, I said it! I ate 3 servings. Don’t look at me that way!
I promise you won’t regret making this. You might regret the third serving by the time you roll yourself into bed that night and start the self-loathing process. Do as I say, not as I do.
Stuffed Husband really enjoyed this as well. Chloegirl just wanted to know where her serving was.
Peace, love, and purple eggplant~