Eggplant Timbales

january-0512Eggplants, otherwise known as aubergines, are rich in calcium, vitamin A, iron and have plenty of good fiber. Stuffed, rolled, stacked, diced, layered and pureed they are versatile in an array of ethnic vegetarian dishes.  I made these timbales or stacks with a homemade tomato sauce and fresh mozarella cheese. To keep this dish light and low fat I used low fat ricotta,  baked the eggplant (which is much lighter than frying) and I made it gluten free by using rice flour and gluten free bread crumbs.  They’re perfect with my slamming good garlic bread recipe from Coming Home To Cook and a fresh green salad. Here’s how:

Eggplant Timbales – gluten free

Peel 1 large eggplant. Slice into 1/4″ rounds.  Fill 3 separate bowls with 1 cup flour, 2 eggs beaten with 1/2 cup milk and 1 cup breadcrumbs. Dredge eggplant in flour, eggs, then breadcrumbs and place on a lightly oiled baking sheet. Bake at 350 (180), Cook for 10 minutes on each side until crispy. Set aside.

Make your favorite tomato sauce.

In a skillet, lightly saute in 2 Tbl. olive oil – 1 cup chopped mushrooms, 1/2 cup diced onions, 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil, 2 chopped garlic cloves, sea salt and pepper to taste.  Let cool.

Mix together 2 cups of lowfat ricotta cheese, 1/4 cup grated fresh romano cheese and 1/3 cup low fat cream cheese and add to the mushrooms.

Slice thin pieces of fresh mozzarella cheese from a large ball.

To assemble:

Pour enough tomato sauce to cover the bottom of  a baking dish. Layer 1 slice eggplant, spread it with ricotta mix, 1 slice of mozzarella and repeat to make a 3 layer stack. Top with tomato sauce and bake for 30 minutes. Enjoy!