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Old 06-04-2015, 11:09 AM   #1
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Eggplant Help?

I'm getting ready to make one of my favorite dishes, Eggplant Lasagna.

The eggplant is sliced to substitute for the lasagna noodles.

What I'm needing help with is how to pre-cook the eggplant slices so that they are not over or underdone so the lasagna is just right.

Any ideas?

I plan to peel the eggplant and slice it into fairly thin slices on my mandolin.

Should I boil the slices or what?

Help me please.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:15 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by Zhizara View Post
I'm getting ready to make one of my favorite dishes, Eggplant Lasagna.

The eggplant is sliced to substitute for the lasagna noodles.

What I'm needing help with is how to pre-cook the eggplant slices so that they are not under or underdone so the lasagna is just right.

Any ideas?

I plan to peel the eggplant and slice it into fairly thin slices on my mandolin.

Should I boil the slices or what?

Help me please.
No. Boiling it will take out all the flavor of the eggplant.

I have been making Eggplant Parm for years. I egg and bread it just prior to sautéing it in olive oil. Place on a spread out paper towel to cool and drain the oil when cooked. Just remember eggplant soaks up the oil and you will have to replace it often. It is a lot of work, so good luck.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:22 AM   #3
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Thanks, Addie.

I don't want to bread it or fill it up with oil. I just want it to be tender enough to be done when the lasagna is done.

Maybe I could just soak the slices in the tomato sauce?

I don't care if it takes a couple of days to make this next lasagna come out right.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:37 AM   #4
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If you want to cook them prior to the lasagna, then slice them a little thicker than you planned so they don't fall apart. That way you can do a partial cook in the tomato sauce. Once they are bendable, should be enough cooking for them before they jump into your lasagna pan. Drain them on a open rack so you can retrieve enough of the sauce that drips off, (if there is enough to retrieve.)

I don't know about you, but I always peel mine. I HATE the skin on veggies when they are cooked.
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Old 06-04-2015, 11:47 AM   #5
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I brush them with oil and put them under the broiler for a few minutes to give them a little color. The oil helps them brown a bit but doesn't saturate them.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:10 PM   #6
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I brush them with oil and put them under the broiler for a few minutes to give them a little color. The oil helps them brown a bit but doesn't saturate them.
That sounds like a good idea. I think they will hold together better that way, as well as enhancing the flavour. If I remember correctly, I just used to slice them thin and put them into the lasagna raw.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:34 PM   #7
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If you want to cook them prior to the lasagna, then slice them a little thicker than you planned so they don't fall apart. That way you can do a partial cook in the tomato sauce. Once they are bendable, should be enough cooking for them before they jump into your lasagna pan. Drain them on a open rack so you can retrieve enough of the sauce that drips off, (if there is enough to retrieve.)

I don't know about you, but I always peel mine. I HATE the skin on veggies when they are cooked.
Thanks, Addie. That's what I've been thinking too.

Once they the eggplant slicer are nice and flexible, I'd go ahead and use them in the building of the lasagna.

I'm still finishing up the post shopping prep, so I'll wait to see if anyone has a better idea, but if not, the tomato sauce idea sounds pretty good. If I'm ready to start, but the eggplant isn't, I think I'll just let them simmer in the tomato sauce so I can get going.

A casserole dish of lasagna will make 6 servings and that's a lot for me.

I'd love to have some really good lasagna in the freezer for some no mess meals!
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:39 PM   #8
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I brush them with oil and put them under the broiler for a few minutes to give them a little color. The oil helps them brown a bit but doesn't saturate them.
Sounds good - this is the way I'd go for, too.

Now I'm craving eggplant lasagna. Be sure to share how yours turns out Z, and any tips you may have.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:49 PM   #9
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Sounds good - this is the way I'd go for, too.

Now I'm craving eggplant lasagna. Be sure to share how yours turns out Z, and any tips you may have.
Will do CJ. I've make it before, once was perfect, the other one, the eggplant wasn't done.

I'm determined to make one that comes out perfect.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:50 PM   #10
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As I recall, I peeled them, sliced them thinly, sprinkled with salt to draw out some of the moisture and bitterness, rinsed, and used them like lasagna noodles. It's been awhile.
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Old 06-04-2015, 12:50 PM   #11
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Thanks, GG, I like your idea too. I did try it once before, but ended up with over dried eggplant.

I'll just have to try it again until I get the time and temperature right.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:42 PM   #12
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When I make moussaka (which is kind of like the Greek version of lasagna) I slice the eggplant in 1/4 to 3/8 inch thick slices, lightly brush them with olive oil and bake them for about 10 – 15 minutes per side. They will absorb as much oil as you put on them, so use a light touch. Broiling should work just fine as well. I leave the skins on, but have read recommendations to partially skin them for people who don’t like the stronger tasting skins.
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Old 06-04-2015, 02:43 PM   #13
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Brush on a little oil and drop the slices onto your grill for a few minutes. They will cook and have a lovely smoked flavor as well. You can do this in advance (up to a day ahead) and then assemble as needed.

As noted earlier you can do this in the broiler as well, but a gas grill is faster, easier and no pan to wash ;)
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Old 06-04-2015, 03:31 PM   #14
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Slice the eggplant about ⅛-inch thick. Place the slices on racks with paper towels underneath. Sprinkle both sides liberally with kosher salt and let stand fifteen minutes. Rinse thoroughly under cold running water, place on dry paper towels and pat dry.

In a dry non-stick skillet, lightly brown the eggplant slices on both sides.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:05 PM   #15
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I brush them with oil and put them under the broiler for a few minutes to give them a little color. The oil helps them brown a bit but doesn't saturate them.
That's what I do, but I usually use garlic-infused EVOO (I simmer peeled cloves, about 10-12, in about 1/4 c EVOO in a saucepan on the stove over medium/medium low until the cloves are golden). I smash the cloves with the flat-blade of my Chef's knife and add those to the sauce, brush the eggplant slices (or zucchini) with the infused EVOO.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:16 PM   #16
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Brush on a little oil and drop the slices onto your grill for a few minutes. They will cook and have a lovely smoked flavor as well. You can do this in advance (up to a day ahead) and then assemble as needed.

As noted earlier you can do this in the broiler as well, but a gas grill is faster, easier and no pan to wash ;)
Thanks for the idea, Janet. I've gotten hungrier and hungrier all day for lasagna, so I peeled the eggplant, sliced it on my mandolin, and am marinating the slices in tomato sauce.

Before I assemble the lasagna, I plan to simmer the eggplant slices in the tomato sauce first, and then, when they tender, I'll start making layers.

At this rate, hopefully, I'll be eating lasagna for dinner tomorrow.
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:16 PM   #17
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Everybody has given good advice... eggplant parm takes a bit of work, but it is worth it. Taking short cuts only reduces the quality of the finished product..
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:19 PM   #18
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I'd love to make eggplant parm, Rock. I've never tried to make it before. Do you have a recipe I could try?
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Old 06-04-2015, 09:31 PM   #19
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I don't really use a recipe. There have been a few techniques given here and all are right. It's just a matter of preference. The eggplant slices take a bit of prep before you add your favorite tomato sauce recipe... if you slice too thick you will end up with a mushy dish. I salt them and press them between kitchen paper towel for about 1/2 and hour. Dredging, and broiling or frying the floured slices in olive will firm up the egg plant so it will hold up to the sauce and cheese during cooking. They will absorb some moisture from the sauce again and shouldn't be too tough....once you get that done, it is just like any lasagne, really...I top with a nice crust of bread crumbs mixed with some kind of cheese, usually mozz and parm blend. This also helps balance the moist/ mushy insides...
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Old 06-05-2015, 04:13 AM   #20
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I oven-roast the eggplant instead of frying. I do brush with infused EVOO before dredging in seasoned flour.
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