Easy Eggplant/Squash Casserole

This past weekend I picked a couple of eggplants and we had a squash leftover from the previous week that I had picked. I wanted to find a new and easy recipe to use up plenty of eggplant and squash. Casseroles are usually pretty easy to put together and make great leftovers. I found a recipe online where you prepare eggplant and squash in a casserole and decided to try it out. This one involves yellow and green squash, eggplant, bell pepper, yellow onion, mushrooms, arglic, light cream, and bread crumbs. The only thing we didn’t have on hand was the light cream, which was easy to find in the grocery. The photograph below displays all of the necessary ingredients.

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The first step is to salt the eggplant, which the recipe does not tell you to do. Unless you’re using the mini eggplants, I highly recommend salting eggplant prior to using them in any recipe. Slice the eggplant, lightly salt on both sides, place in a colandar, and allow to “sweat” out for at least 30 min. This helps cut the bitterness of the eggplant.

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Next, cube eggplant and squash into approximately 1 inch pieces. Mine were a little bit smaller than 1 inch, which I find easier to eat. I also went ahead and diced a green pepper (from the garden!), and 1 cup of yellow onion.

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Parboil the eggplant and squash for a couple of minutes. Parboil is a fancy word for describing “boil the vegetable slightly, but not enough to fully cook”. After boiling, drain the water and set aside. Don’t worry that you’re not cooking the eggplant and squash fully. This dish gets baked for 45 min in the oven so the vegetables will definitely get cooked.

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Next, melt 4 T of butter on medium/high heat and add diced onions and bell pepper and cook for a few minutes.

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Add garlic and cook for a couple more minutes. Then, add 1 t salt, 1/2 t pepper, and 1/4 cup flour. Stir well until the flour is absorbed by the mixture.

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Add 1/2 cup light cream and 2 T grated Parmesan cheese. This will boil upon adding so as soon as I added the cream and cheese, I pulled the pan off the stove to cool.

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To the drained eggplant and squash, add 1/2 cup mushrooms. I used fresh instead of canned and added slightly more than 1/2 cup as was called for in the recipe.

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Stir in the cream mixture and mix well to coat the eggplant/squash/mushrooms. Pour the casserole into a greased or buttered casserole dish. Bake for 30 min at 350F.

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After 30 min, take the dish out and pour 1 cup Italian bread crumbs on top of the casserole. Place back in the oven and bake for another 15 minutes or until the breadcrumbs begin to brown.

I wish I had an “after” picture, but we had friends over for dinner so as soon as the casserole was ready we began to eat dinner. Even our friends, who are not big veggie eaters, enjoyed this dish! Nate raved about it and I plan to make it again soon for when his parents are in town. As I mentioned earlier in this post, casseroles tend to be pretty easy but they also make a lot of servings. This recipe is definitely a keeper!

Online Recipe:

http://www.food.com/recipe/eggplant-aubergine-squash-casserole-110770

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