Eggplant Baked Florentine-Style

Photo by Bob N.
Adapted from keyingredient.com

PREP TIME

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minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

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servings

PREP TIME

--

minutes

TOTAL TIME

--

minutes

SERVINGS

--

servings

Adapted from keyingredient.com

Ingredients

  • 2

    firm, heavy eggplants, sliced 1/2 inch thick 10-12 slices per eggplant

  • 1

    cup lour, for dredging, about 1 cup

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 4

    eggs

  • 1

    cup panko or large homemade breadcrumbs

  • 1

    cup fine breadcrumbs

  • 2

    cups grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, plus additional for sprinkling

  • Olive oil natural cooking spray or olive oil, for drizzling

  • CREAMED SPINACH

  • 2

    tablespoons olive or canola oil

  • 3

    large shallots, finely chopped

  • 2 to 3

    cloves garlic, grated or finely chopped

  • 3

    ounces Boursin herb soft cheese or cream cheese

  • 1/3

    About 1/3 cup half-and-half or whole milk

  • Freshly grated nutmeg, to taste

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1

    (16 ounce) bag chopped organic frozen spinach, defrosted and drained

  • 1/2

    cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

  • MUSHROOMS

  • 3

    tablespoons olive oil

  • 1

    pound cremini mushrooms, sliced

  • Salt and pepper, to taste

  • 1/4

    cup brandy or dry sherry

  • BECHAMEL SAUCE

  • 4

    tablespoon butter

  • 4

    tablespoons flour

  • 3

    cups warm milk

  • Salt and pepper

  • Nutmeg, grated to taste

  • 2

    cups shredded Fontina or mozzarella cheese

Directions

Salt eggplant and let drain on kitchen towels for 30 minutes; press out excess liquid. Preheat oven to 375°F. Set up breading station: Season flour with salt and pepper in shallow dish. Whisk up eggs in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Combine panko, fine crumbs, salt, pepper, 1 cup of the grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and parsley in another dish. If not using cooking spray, moisten the bread with olive oil. Coat eggplant in flour, egg then breadcrumb mixture. Arrange on 2 large baking sheets, spray liberally with cooking spray (if using) on both sides. Bake eggplant 10-12 minutes then turn and bake 10-12 minutes more until crispy and brown on both sides. For the creamed spinach, heat a medium skillet over medium heat with oil, 2 turns of the pan. Add shallots and garlic, and soften 3-5 minutes. Add Boursin or cream cheese and melt; add half-and-half to thin a bit. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add spinach and heat through; fold in grated cheese. For the mushrooms, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with olive oil, two turns of the pan. Add mushrooms and brown; season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the mushrooms with brandy or dry sherry. For the béchamel, melt butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Stir in flour and cook a minute or two. Pour in warm milk and thicken, stirring constantly. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Switch on broiler and place a rack in the center of oven. Make stacks of a slice of crispy eggplant, some spinach, mushrooms, another slice of eggplant, a dollop or two of sauce and a sprinkle each of Fontina or mozzarella and some Parmigiano-Reggiano. Arrange stacks in large shallow casserole or lasagna pan and carefully broil until tops are lightly browned and bubbly.

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