This year has been going to hell in a hand-basket; quickly and surely deteriorating each day, and dealing out some pretty mean punches.
Every now and then, all the worries twisting me into sleepless nights vanish when one piece of knowledge puts my privilege in check. And sometimes, the sticky pool of anxiety, into which I am suspended, reaches a boiling point, eventually liquefies and lets me swim to shore.
Where else but on that shore, staring out into the horizon, would I find perspective, again?
Another warm sunny day, and I am cutting this ramble short and going out into the woods.
Lasagna, as a kid, meant that I would leave the table last, painstakingly peeling and eating every layer, after I carefully pick every little bit of ground meat out and feed it to our lovely mutt: Alva.
Mama’s lasagna is luscious and abundant.
This lasagna is light and lovely, a recipe from my lovely sister Salma.
A pungent but sweet combination of fried eggplant and Swiss cheese intermingling in a damning and forgiving, tangy and creamy lasanum; the Latin origin of the word meaning chamber pot (yikes!) or cooking pot. Another recipe named after a cooking vessel, like “Qidreh” – a Palestinian dish.
PREP TIME 45 mins COOK TIME 30 mins
Note: You can use whole milk instead of cream and milk.
INGREDIENTS & INSTRUCTIONS
- 1 Large Eggplant, sliced ¼ inch rounds
- Canola Oil, for frying
- In 1 inch of oil, deep fry the eggplant — 15 minutes
- Salt lightly and set aside
Béchamel (makes 2 cups) 17 minutes
- 2 Cups 2% Milk
- ½ Cup Heavy Cream
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 3 Tbsps. Unsalted Butter
- 3 Tbsps. Multi Purpose Flour
- ½ Tsp. Salt
- ¼ Tsp. Ground White Pepper
- Pinch Nutmeg
- Heat Milk, cream and bay leaf on medium low heat until bubbles start forming along the edges, remove bay leaf — 5 minutes
- In a separate pan, melt butter and whisk in the flour until they form a roux — 2 minutes
- Add the milk gently and slowly while whisking
- Keep whisking until the sauce thickens to the consistency of batter — 10 minutes
- Add salt, pepper and nutmeg
Tomato Sauce (makes 2 cups) 15 minutes
- ¼ Cup Olive Oil
- 8 Cloves Fresh Garlic, chopped
- 4 Medium Tomatoes, peeled and diced
- ¼ Tsp. Sugar
- ½ Tsp Salt
- ¼ Tsp. Black Pepper
- 1 Tbsp. Fresh Oregano, chopped
- Heat olive oil and fry the garlic until golden — 5 minutes
- Add tomatoes and sugar and cook until most of the liquid evaporated — 10 minutes
- Add salt, pepper and oregano
- 8 oz. Fresh Mozzarella Cheese, sliced ¼ inch thick ~ 6 pieces
- ½ lbs Swiss Cheese, grated
- Preheat oven to 375 °F
- Grease a 9x13in pan
- Spread 4 tablespoons of tomato sauce evenly
- Place 3 sheets of pasta over the sauce
- Pour ½ cup of béchamel, add 3 pieces of eggplant, and 1/3 cup grated Swiss cheese
- Add another pasta layer
- Pour 4 heaping tablespoons tomato sauce, add 6 pieces of eggplant, and 1/3 cup grated Swiss cheese
- Keep alternating until the last layer of pasta, add the remaining béchamel, the remaining cheese and top with mozzarella slices
- Pour the remainder of the tomato sauce along the edges
- Bake covered with foil — 25 minutes
- Uncover and broil –5 minutes
- Let it rest 15 minutes
Salamat! All images and content on Raphanous are copyright protected. Please be cool and contact me if you would like to use my images. It makes me happy when you glean and transform my content but please link back to this recipe. Thank you!