Saturday, April 14, 2012


A great friend of mine, Shayna Dwor, has inspired me. Shayna and I grew up next door to each other and have been friends since before I can even remember. She was an extra sister for Nicole and I to play with, and one of our favourite pastimes included seeking revenge on her older brother, Eli, for all the cruel things he did to her throughout childhood. Shayna is an artist who is easily one of the most humorous and creative people I know. She is also the friend of mine who previously worked for the family in Rome that I am currently with.
Anyway, Shayna recently began her own blog. It mostly consists of photographs from her time in Italy as well as recipes that she collected. I decided to post a recipe in my own in hopes that you are all taking my advice in trying new things. While browsing through one of the English 
cookbooks that was on the bookshelf, I came across the "Roasted Eggplant Lasagna" recipe which I thought was perfect, as it is Italian, healthy, and vegetarian. I promise that it's not as hard as it seems. 
Roasted Eggplant Lasagna:
Preparation time: 50 minutes. Baking time: 30 minutes. Serves 8.
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 2 small zucchini
  • 5 tomatoes
  • 1 large sweet red pepper
  • 1 large onion, cut into small wedges
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons of fresh basil, divided
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper, divided
  • 2/3 cup pitted Greek olives, chopped
  • 1/4 cup butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 3/4 cups milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 5 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of Asiago cheese
  • 3/4 cup of mozzarella cheese
  • 6 lasagna noodles 

Things are heating up in the kitchen!
  • Cut eggplant, zucchini, tomatoes and red pepper into 1-in. pieces; place in a large bowl. Add onion, oil, 2 tablespoons basil, garlic, 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; toss. Transfer to two greased 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. baking pans. Bake at 450° for 20-25 minutes or until crisp-tender. Stir in olives.
  • In a large saucepan, melt butter; stir in flour until smooth. Gradually stir in milk. Add bay leaf and nutmeg. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from heat. Stir in 3 tablespoons Parmesan, Asiago and remaining basil, salt and pepper. Discard bay leaf.
  • Spread a fourth of the sauce in a greased 11-in. x 7-in. baking dish. Top with 2-1/3 cups vegetables, 1/4 cup mozzarella and three noodles. Repeat layers. Top with a fourth of the sauce, remaining vegetables, mozzarella, sauce and Parmesan. Cover and bake at 375° for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly. Let stand 15 minutes before serving.

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