In looking for a new use for the beautiful rainbow chard that showed up in our CSA box last week, I came across a couple of recipes that incorporated chopped chard in the ricotta mixture in lasagna. I also had a yen to use some eggplant, and, having found a couple of recipes for eggplant rolls that used chard in the stuffing, I decided to concoct my own crazy dish: a sort-of lasagna using chard in the ricotta mixture and eggplant slices as the “noodles.”
Strange as it may sound, it turned out really well. My dad and his wife stopped by and ended up having dinner with us, and they like to keep it relatively low-carb, so this worked perfectly, paired with a salad of mixed greens and baby kale. Even the hubby, who is something of an eggplant skeptic, raved about it.
This recipe makes a small pan (4 servings). If you want enough to fill a regular lasagna pan, double it.
Eggplant “Lasagna” with Chard
1 large eggplant
1 small bunch of chard, or half a large bunch
1 container ricotta cheese
2 cups mozzerella
1/4 cup parmesan
1 jar of tomato sauce (preferably marinara or tomato and basil)*
Remove the stem and tail ends of the eggplant, cut it lengthwise in half, if it is large, and, using a mandoline or v-slicer, cut lengthwise into thin slices (like lasagna noodles). Lay the slices out on folded paper towels, and sprinkle them with kosher salt. Let them sit for 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, separate the chard leaves from stems and finely chop the leaves. Very finely chop the stems. Mix together the ricotta, egg, chard leaves and stems, and a bit of salt and pepper.
Preheat the oven to 350. Pat down the eggplant slices with paper towels to remove the moisture and salt. Brush or spray a little olive oil into the bottom of the pan. Lay down overlapping slices of eggplant to cover the bottom, and layer with a third of the ricotta mixture and a sprinkle of mozzerella. Repeat layers until all the ricotta mixture has been used, and top with an additional layer of eggplant slices. Pour about 3/4 of the sauce over the dish, and top with the remaining mozzerella and parmesan.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, until the sauce is bubbly and the cheese is golden brown. Remove and cool slightly before cutting into slices.
* Or make your own. I was feeling lazy.