Eggplant Parm Rice Casserole
September 8, 2016
This is dope.
So dope, it’s going to send you into a tailspin.
The cheesiest, tomato-iest, eggplant-iest, DOPEST casserole tailspin of your life.
First things first: You guys know my obsession with eggplant parm, right?
So far I’ve made a mean quinoa casserole, some awesome “meatballs”, I even stuffed zucchini boats with eggplant parm.
Is that enough to prove my love for eggplant parm?
Yeah, I think so.
And if that is not enough, today I’m presenting with a totally delicious Eggplant Parm Rice Casserole.
Essentially what this casserole is all about, is a good hearty pile of risotto with tomatoes, layered with roasted eggplant, mozzarella, and Parmesan cheese -> then baked until hot, bubbly, and oozing -> then sprinkled with slivered basil leaves for the look (of course!)
The rice is perfect. It soaks up all the flavors and is completely wonderful.
Though we tend to associate casseroles with cold nights, rain pattering on our windows, and feeling really smug. This one’s different.
It has a summer vibe to it, because of the tomatoes and eggplant. Not to mention that the addition of fresh basil really does the trick here.
No cans of anything in this casserole — just lots of fresh, healthy ingredients (okay FINE there’s a little mozzarella, big deal…) which kind of feels good, and smart, and grown up and all that stuff, plus it tastes like eggplant parm (score!)
Real food + comfort food = a healthy, wholesome, and delicious meal.
In other words: DOPE!
Eggplant Parm Rice Casserole Print this recipe!
2 small eggplants, sliced into ¼-inch rounds
2 cup cherry tomatoes, cut into eighths (or 1 cup tomato sauce)
Handful basil leaves, chopped
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
2 cups rice (I used arborio)
1 small onion, finely chopped
4 cups vegetable broth
2 cups shredded mozzarella
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Fine grain salt
½ teaspoon dried oregano
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) and place a rack in the middle. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper and grease them with vegetable oil. Set aside.
Fill a large bowl with cold water, add 1 teaspoon of salt and stir until it dissolves completely.
Add eggplant slices and let them sit for at least 20 minutes to draw out the bitterness.
In the meantime, combine in a small bowl the cherry tomatoes, basil, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Give a good stir and set aside.
Fish the eggplant slices out of the water, pat them dry, and arrange them on a single layer on prepared baking sheets. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the slices turn deep brown on top.
Remove the slices from the baking sheets and carefully transfer them on a plate to cool.
In a medium pot heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and sauté until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add rice and give it a stir. Cook, stirring, until the grains of rice begin to crackle, about 3 minutes.
Add vegetable broth and cook over medium-low heat for about 12 to 14 minutes, or until the rice is cooked but still retains some crunch (cooking time depends on the rice used).
Remove from the heat, add chopped tomatoes, and give a good stir. Set aside.
Reduce oven temperature to 350°F (180°C).
Rub a medium-large baking dish with a bit of olive oil. Spoon ⅓ of the rice and level with a spatula. Cover with eggplant slices, mozzarella, and sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Repeat to make another layer. Top with the remaining rice, sprinkle with mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, and oregano.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly.
Let rest 10 minutes, sprinkle with slivered basil leaves and serve!
One serving yields 326 calories, 10 grams of fat, 45 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of protein.