So here's my version, a healthier but equally delicious and fulfilling meal. I used grilled eggplant rather than batter-fried eggplant, toasted sourdough bread circles, and a little bit of asiago and provolone cheese to give a great punch without the guilt of eating a whole ball of mozzarella. In addition, I used my homemade tomato jam instead of a traditional sauce. At the end of summer I canned over 75 pounds of tomatoes into sauces and jams. My recipe for tomato jam calls for slow roasting in the oven with olive oil, garlic, and herbs - the flavors become so concentrated and delicious. I decided this would be the perfect sauce for my dish, since I am cutting back on the fat and making this dish healthy - I wanted something that packed an extra flavor punch.
Here are the ingredients you will need:
- 1 eggplant, sliced 1/4" thick, lengthwise
- 2-3 zucchini, sliced 1/4" thick, lengthwise
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 clove garlic, finely diced
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 cup grated asiago cheese
- 1 cup grated fontina cheese
- 1 loaf sourdough, batard, french baguette or other crusty bread, sliced 1/2" thick
- 12 oz low-fat ricotta cheese
- 1 cup basil
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1 tbsp kosher salt
- 1 tbsp fresh ground pepper
Check out a previous blog post to get the recipe for my tomato jam, or else use a good tomato sauce instead.
Assembly is pretty easy. If you are using a casserole dish then layer the vegetables with the ricotta cheese filling, then top with tomato jam and toasted bread. If you are using individual ramekins then place a tablespoon of tomato jam on the bottom of the ramekin. Lay the grilled veggies lengthwise, from the center of the ramekin, so that they hang over the edge of the ramekin. Then fill the ramekin with ricotta filling and pull the exposed veggies over the filling to nestle everything in place. Bake the casserole dish for 10 minutes then top with the grated asiago and fontina cheese. Continue to bake for another 5-10 minutes until the cheese has melted and the ricotta filling is heated through. The ramekins should bake for 10-15 minutes.
To remove from the ramekins, run a knife around the edge of the dish and then turn them over onto a plate. Top with a circular slice of cheese toast and garnish with fresh basil. Serve with additional tomato jam on the side.