Quick Italian Eggplant Towers

>> Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Italian Eggplant Towers

Have I mentioned before that my parents raise an enormous garden every year? Even more cool, they grow things like eggplant, which look pretty odd as they come up, and which I'm sure I never ate growing up and even more sure my parents never tasted as kids. Did you grow up with eggplant? Even the word is a little odd, and ick-inducing, isn't it? I think I prefer names like aubergines (French) or melanzane (Italian).

This super-quick recipe from my mom is impressive if you have the skills to make it look like a spirally tower (look at how pretty Joe made it look!). This is a go-to recipe if you've got about 20 minutes to make dinner and you really need to eat something healthy.

If you're one of the fortunate ones that can splurge on something higher calorie, I highly recommend using one of those shredded cheese blends with mozzarella, asiago, and other good things. You could also add cooked and crumbled Italian sausage...actually, I can think of about 10 other things that would be awesome in this dish.

If you do have a bit more time, you can simmer up your own marinara sauce with a couple of cans of crushed tomatoes and your favorite Italian herbs and spices. This weekend we were a bit rushed for time, between errands and that Honey-Do list and all...but we did whip up some of our own sauce. Next time we'll make a double recipe of sauce so we have some frozen on hand when we're really busy.

homemade marinara sauce


2 medium eggplants
1 jar spaghetti sauce or homemade marinara
1 small jar of roasted red peppers, drained
2 cups fat-free shredded mozzarella


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and spray a baking sheet. Put the sauce in the microwave and heat until bubbly.

While it's heating, slice up the eggplant into 1/2" disks. We prefer to peel ours because we don't like the texture of the cooked skins. Place on a plate, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave until it's tender, about 3-4 minutes.

Place the pepper into the microwave and heat up for about 1 1/2 minutes. While it's heating, place a layer of eggplant onto the greased pan. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the cheese, then drizzle some of the sauce over the layer. Add a second layer, then top it with the red pepper. Add a third and fourth layer. 

Cover with foil and place in the oven. Cook for 10 minutes, then remove the foil and cook for 5 more, or until the towers are cooked through.

Serves 4.


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