Low-Fat Mediterranean Eggplant Casserole
You can cut the fat of this classic Italian dish by substituting fat-free ricotta for full-fat, without sacrificing any flavor or pleasure. This is a healthy Mediterranean eggplant dish to please the whole family.
1 pound eggplant (1 large or 2 medium)
2 1/2 cups pasta sauce, your favorite store-bought or homemade
1 15-ounce tub fat-free ricotta cheese, drained
1 6-ounce bag fresh baby spinach
1/3 cup freshly-grated Parmesan or Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Preheat oven to 450. Meanwhile, slice the eggplant longways in 1/4-inch slices, and place without overlapping on a baking sheet lightly coated with olive oil or cooking spray. Roast in preheated oven 20 minutes, turning once, until tender. Remove and set aside.
2. Steam spinach over a pot of boiling water for 3 minutes or until barely wilted, then squeeze dry and set aside.
3. Reduce oven to 350F. In an 8-inch by 8-inch baking dish, place 1/3 of the sauce, then layer 1/3 of the eggplant slices on top. Top with 1/3 of the spinach and 1/3 of the ricotta. Repeat layers, then top final layer with Parmesan and bake until bubbly about 25 minutes.
By Cait Johnson, author of Witch in the Kitchen (Inner Traditions, 2001).