This layered eggplant casserole is bursting with flavor, and works well as a side dish or an entree.
INGREDIENTS (for 4 servings):
- 2 large eggplants, sliced
- salt to taste
- 1 cup dry whole wheat bread crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, diced
- 1 roma (plum) tomato, seeded and chopped
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, finely chopped
- 5 pimento-stuffed green olives, sliced
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered saffron
- 1/2 cup soy milk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup cashews
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Lightly grease a medium baking dish.
Cover the bottom of the prepared baking dish with 1/2 the eggplant slices, and season with salt. In a bowl, toss together the bread crumbs and brown sugar, and sprinkle about 1/4 cup of the mixture over the layer of eggplant slices.
In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup bread crumb mixture, the onion, celery, tomato, red bell pepper, olives, and olive oil. Season with oregano and saffron. Spread over the layer of eggplant in the baking dish. Top with remaining eggplant. Sprinkle with remaining bread crumb mixture.
In a blender, blend the soy milk, heavy cream, and cashews until smooth. Pour over the top of the layered dish.
Bake 30 minutes in the preheated oven, until crisp and golden brown.