Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Stinging Nettle Eggplant Parmesan

Stinging Nettle Eggplant Parmesan
This is a relaxed recipe that can be varied in many ways. If you don't have nettle substitute kale or other leafy greens. 

Experiment and enjoy!

1 diced onion
4 cloves of garlic minced
Olive oil
2 16 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes or 2 lbs of fresh tomatoes (best to use your own preserved tomatoes or search out brands that do not contain harmful chemicals in the cans)
1 lb. of cooked ground meat or cooked sliced sausages
2 large eggplants
1 bunch of fresh basil
2 tablespoons dried oregano
1 lb. of fresh stinging nettle
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper to taste

Pre-heat oven to 325. 

Slice eggplants lengthwise and lightly cover both sides with olive oil. 

Place them on a cookie sheet. Do not overlap. 

Bake them in the oven for 12 minutes and then flip over. Bake for ten minutes more or until they are translucent in the middle. Set them aside.

Raise the oven temperature to 350.

Fill a large pot with water, Bring to a boil and add the fresh stinging nettle leaves. Boil for about ten minutes and then strain well. Reserve the nettle water for drinking or for a rich fertilizer.

Meanwhile in a large skillet or sauce pan, saute onion in the olive oil until translucent. add the garlic and saute for minute more (being careful not to overcook the garlic). Add the crushed tomatoes, the cooked meat, basil and boiled/strained stinging nettle. Let simmer for 15 minutes.

In a large casserole dish place a layer of the eggplant, followed by a thick layer of the tomato mixture and a sprinkling of the cheeses. Continue this until the ingredients are used up or there is no more room in the casserole dish. 

Bake in the oven at 350 for 45 minutes.