Recipe: Eggplant Lasagne Boats

Mushroom Stuffed Eggplant Lasagne Boats SAMFA

By Renate Engelbrecht

Thursday, Jun 15

While I enjoy the beauty and the magic that comes with gardening, I was not blessed with green fingers. My husband, Wikus certainly got his mom’s green fingers, though and luckily he loves gardening. In fact, he recently started growing all kinds of vegetables and herbs, including eggplants, broccoli, basil, peppers, tomatoes and more.

I enjoy the part in the process where I get to walk through the vegetable garden with a pretty basket, picking all the things I’d like to use for dinner. I love hovering over the basil, rubbing the leaves and smelling the fresh aroma. Parsley is another favourite. And, of course, the many, many eggplants! I never thought they’d grow so fast and take to our Pretoria weather so well and I quickly had to search for recipes that would be suitable to a family with toddlers who might not be so keen on brinjal…

Well, I recently came across this recipe from the South African Mushroom Farmer’s Association and since the dad in our home’s green fingers bring us so much brinjal joy, this is the recipe we will be trying out on Father’s Day this year:

Mushroom Stuffed Eggplant Lasagne Boats low res

Mushroom Stuffed Eggplant Lasagne Boats

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

500g white button mushrooms
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, finely grated
1 stalk celery, finely diced
2 cloves of garlic, sliced
250g lean beef mince
1 x 400g tin diced / crushed tomatoes

4 medium eggplants

150g mozzarella cheese, grated

Fresh basil leaves, for serving
Chilli flakes, for serving

Salt and pepper, to taste
Olive oil, for cooking

FIND SOME FATHER’S DAY GIFT IDEAS HERE.

Method

Blitz the mushrooms in a food processor or finely chop.
Heat a large dry saucepan / Dutch oven over medium heat and cook the mushrooms until they release all their liquid and are dry and turning golden on the edges.
Season lightly with salt and pepper.
Remove from the pan.

Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and add the onion, carrot and celery.
Cook until the vegetables are very tender.
Add the garlic and cook until fragrant.
Add the beef mince and cook until browned.
Return the mushrooms to the pan along with the tinned tomatoes and a good pinch of salt and pepper.
Rinse the tin of tomatoes out with a little water and add to the pan.
Bring to a simmer.
Gently simmer until the sauce has thickened and the flavour has developed.
Taste to adjust seasoning.

While the sauce is cooking, preheat oven to 200°C.

Cut the eggplants in half and slice a criss-cross pattern into each half.
Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
Place cut side down on a lined baking tray.
Bake for 20 minutes (depending on their size) until nice and tender.

Switch the oven over to grill mode.

When the sauce has thickened, spoon a generous amount onto each eggplant half.
Scatter over the grated mozzarella.
Place under the grill and cook until the cheese melts and starts to turn golden brown.

Scatter the eggplant boats with chili flakes and fresh basil leaves and serve.

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