Originally uploaded by dynamist.
Inspired by Madsen’s version, I thought I’d have a go. As luck (or misfortune) would have it, the aubergine I’d purchased from the market on Saturday was revealed, upon further inspection at home, to be in urgent need of use.
I tried not to slice the aubergine too thickly, then set the big bowl of slices aside while I chopped an onion and a huge field mushroom. The latter two went into a pan of hot olive oil, along with salt to stop the onion from burning. When the veg had gone soft, I added a couple of minced cloves of garlic and quite a few chopped tomatoes.
While all that cooked, I coated my hands in olive oil and lovingly caressed the aubergine slices until they were coated. This method keeps too much oil from soaking in, as aubergines will just absorb as much as you throw at them.
I added a mix of Italian herbs and spices to the sauce, turned it off the heat, and started to construct my bake. First, a layer of sauce; then, a layer of aubergine slices; next, a layer of soft ricotta cheese, and finally a layer of Swiss cheese slices. I know, I know, that’s just wrong, but I didn’t have any parmesan to hand and the American version of Swiss cheese is so tasteless that I just wanted it for the melty texture. (Someone brought me this packet of cheese when I was sick, to ensure I didn’t die of malnutrition, as if that were ever a possibility. I was just happy to use it up.)
Two layers later, it all went in the oven and came out 25 minutes later just as I’d hoped. Even better, there’s enough for at least four more meals.