Another working session in Strasbourg is finally over. I ended up as usually – feeling like a zombie due to lack of sleep, with bigger booty due to late night (and too big) dinners, running on caffeine, stomach upset from way too many secret ingredients in the local cafeteria and eating on the road, not remembering what sun and daylight look like. But I survived and the better part of the week is about to begin!
Before I finally reach my weekend destination and indulge in my mom’s hearty cuisine (Primal compliant! I just love my mom!), hug my sister and go for a long run in the forest behind our house, I have a recipe for you! Prepare this healthy and nutritious heaven on plate to celebrate that it’s Friday!
I first ate this dish in an Italian restaurant not so long ago, and it was so freaking tasty that I had to try it at home. The original recipe called only for an eggplant, tomato sauce and mozzarella. Simple and to the point. It wouldn’t be me, if I didn’t boost it with protein and my beloved olives and mushrooms. You can get even more creative and pimp the base up with whatever you like.
Ingredients (2 servings):
- 1 eggplant
- 5 mushrooms (or more, if you like them or you have smaller ones)
- 1 can (400 ml) tomato sauce (mine already has basil in, you can add fresh)
- 2 cloves of garlic (or more)
- 1 mozzarella di bufallo
- chorizo (go only for one without additives, preservatives and other secret ingredients. All you want is meat, fat and natural spices)
- salt, pepper to taste
- squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons of Worchester sauce (Optional. Yes, I know it contains sugar.)
- fat of choice (for browning the eggplant)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C, start heating fat of your preference on a skillet. Prepare a silicon bread form or a baking dish.
- While the skillet is warming up, cut the eggplant in about half cm thick slices. Too thick will have overpowering flavor and take forever to brown, too thin will be falling apart. Place the slices on the pan and let soften until golden from both sides. Be patient, it feels like it takes ages but it’s really worth it.
- While the eggplant is playing stubborn sucking all the fat (you may need to add a bit more throughout the process) slice the mushrooms, mozzarella and chorizo.
- Eggplant is still on the pan. Don’t forget to turn the slices. In a bowl pour the content of the tomato sauce can, crush 2 or more cloves of garlic, add 2 careful spoons of Worchester sauce, salt, pepper and squeeze of lemon to taste.
- Once the eggplant is finally done, use it as a first layer. Add a bit of tomato sauce on top. Then a layer of mushrooms, a few olives, layer of mozzarella, sauce, mushrooms, chorizo, more olives, more sauce… and so on.
- The top layer should be eggplant covered with sauce.
- Place into hot oven and bake for about 25 minutes.
- When it’s done, LET IT COOL a bit and dig in.
This recipe has tons of variations. You can use ground beef instead of chorizo or even pieces of chicken, shrimp. Whatever you fancy. You can make it vegetarian or pop an egg or two on top, sprinkle the upper layer with melting cheese. I will leave it up to your fantasy. I have already done this recipe couple of times and I needed to make use of avocado that was in my fridge for a while, so I added another layer made of pureed avocado, salt, pepper and lemon juice. Feel free to try it, if you want to add extra fat (for instance if using shrimp, chicken breasts or no meat at all) and/or make the overall flavor a bit milder (which works great for spicy chorizo). The posted version, though, is my most favorite.
By the way, this is one of the meals that taste even better the next day!
Bon appétit, everyone! Thanks for reading and live loud!