Last night, my roommates and I stayed in and cooked ourselves up a giant lasagne… and then proceeded to devour the entire thing in one sitting (well, almost the entire thing – J’s brother showed up to help us finish it off). This might now officially be not only my favorite way to cook eggplant, but my favorite lasagne. Who can eat flat noodles anymore? Not me. Bring on the eggplant! It helped that we had gotten two gorgeously deep purple eggplants from our CSA delivery last week. I hope we get more, but not likely the way this weather has been going. We cut them up into nice, thick slices, drizzled olive oil on top, sprinkled them with sea salt and black pepper, and tossed them in the broiler.
While the eggplant was roasting, J mixed together 1/2 cup of mascarpone and 1/2 cup ricotta with an egg, sea salt, and pepper. T made a fresh tomato sauce, using our fresh roma tomatoes and plenty of garlic. We tried to get some basil out of our fireplace garden, but apparently we’d eaten it all! So still waiting for fresh basil… but it tasted delicious anyway. I busied myself setting the table.
Then came time for the assembly of the lasagne. First, a nice thick layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of the casserole dish. Next, a layer of roasted eggplant. Then, about half of the cheese mixture, spread across. More eggplant. More cheese. Last layer of eggplant, and then pour the rest of the tomato sauce on top. We grated fresh parmesan cheese over this and then threw it in the oven for 25 minutes, at 400 degrees fahrenheit. You’re supposed to let it rest for 10 minutes after that… I think we made it 5. And it was delicious! I can’t even exaggerate the flavor of the eggplant with the tomatoes, and the melted cheese just filling in everywhere else… Perfect for a summer evening, a nice pinot noir, and a night in the with girls.
But when we did actually serve it, I’m pretty sure it looked even better than in the pages of Real Simple (the recipe was adapted from the September issue, with slight modifications).
For dessert, we’d been planning to have watermelon. Last week, our CSA dropped off an enormous watermelon, bigger than a basketball, and we’d saved it for this special occasion. I went to go put in a movie while J headed to slice the watermelon. When I heard her gasp and then yell “dammit!” I thought she’d cut off a finger – or something! But instead, the watermelon was – unripe? Rotten? We couldn’t tell, but it was definitely yellow.
We bit into the yellow flesh – just to check to make sure it was bad – and it was delicious! It tasted like soft honey. As J says, not as refreshing as pink watermelon, but almost as good. After some googling, it turns out that its ironically called “yellow crimson” watermelon. Who knew?