Eggplant Casserole with Roasted Red Peppers

I saw Bobby Flay make this over the weekend on Food Network. Hubby and I knew immediately that we would HAVE to try it! And it came out absolutely DELISH!

This dish is a flavorful twist on your ordinary eggplant parmesan and a great alternative to lasagna because it doesn’t have the pasta (yay for being low carb)! It is even BETTER the next day once it has been able to sit and settle.

Eggplant Casserole with Red Pepper Pesto

Eggplant Casserole with Roasted Red Peppers

Serves 6-8

Ingredients:

For the Eggplant Casserole

  • 3 eggplants, peeled
  • Olive or canola oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 5 roasted red peppers, skin and seeds removed (use the jarred variety or make your own)
  • 3 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped in half
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1 pound fresh mozzarella, thinly sliced (remove excess liquid on paper towel, if you skip this step you will have a watery casserole)
  • 2 tablespoons oregano
  • 1/4 cup crumbled goat cheese

For the Breadcrumb Mixture

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Pinch cayenne
  • 1/2 cup plain breadcrumbs
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

Directions:

For the Casserole

  1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
  2. Slice the eggplant in 1/2- to 1-inch thick pieces. Lay them on an aluminum foil-covered baking sheet.
  3. Brush the eggplant with olive or canola oil and season with salt and pepper. Turn the slices over and repeat.
  4. Bake until lightly golden brown, about 12 minutes (flip them over about 6 minutes in).
  5. Quarter the red peppers.
  6. Combine the red peppers, pine nuts, garlic, and thyme in a food processor until coarsely chopped.
  7. Add Extra virgin olive oil, parmesan, cayenne, salt and pepper. Puree. Adjust the seasonings to your liking.
  8. Spread 1/2 cup of the sauce into the bottom of a baking dish.
  9. Line the dish with some eggplant, then mozzarella slices. Season with salt, pepper and oregano. Spoon over a few tablespoons of the red pepper sauce.
  10. Place another layer of eggplant, mozzarella, seasoning and sauce until you use all the eggplant.
  11. Top with remaining sauce, mozzarella and goat cheese.
  12. Bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and the casserole is hot, about 10 minutes.

For the Breadcrumbs

  1. Heat oil in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
  2. Add paprika and cayenne and cook for 30 seconds.
  3. Add breadcrumbs and cook, stirring occasionally, until the crumbs have browned.
  4. Add parsley and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and scatter over the casserole after it has come out of the oven.
  5. Let rest at least 10 minutes before serving.

Enjoy!

Eggplant Casserole with Red Pepper Pesto

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