There are lots of things to love about summer. But one thing that always tops my list is the farmers market. I love the fresh foods, sights, the variety of colors, the smells, dogs, and all of the people who gather in one place to support the local farmers. It is a great excuse to get up early and enjoy the summer morning before it gets too hot and other duties pop up for the day.
On my most recent visit to the Lexington Farmers Market, I decided to turn it into a cooking challenge. I found some tasty peaches, blackberries, and local hot sauce (not pictured or used in the dinner challenge). For dinner, I picked up an eggplant, baby heirloom tomatoes, and an onion. I didn’t know where the heirloom tomato name came from until working on this post, but an heirloom tomato is any variety or strain of tomato that is over 50 years old.
The first thing I thought of was Eggplant Parmesan, but I had already made it in a previous cooking challenge post. I rummaged around my cabinets and refrigerator to see what else I could add to the ingredients. I decided to make a roasted eggplant and baby heirloom tomato lasagna. First, I sliced and salted the eggplant. I layered the eggplant between paper towels and added some weight to help get the water out of the slices. I let it drain for about four hours.
Next, I brushed each slice with olive oil and placed them on baking pans. I seasoned them with a few sprinkles of black pepper and italian seasoning. I roasted it at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
While the eggplant roasted, I minced two cloves of garlic, chopped half an onion, and quartered each baby tomato. I started to gently sautee this in olive oil. I started boiling the whole wheat lasagna noodles.
I layered the lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan, followed by the eggplant, and then topped with half of the tomato mixture. I only had enough noodles for two layers.
I also only had enough cheese for the top layer. I added about 3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese, 3/4 cup of mozzarella, and 1/2 cup of goat cheese crumbles. I baked it at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes covered and 5 minutes uncovered.
I don’t have a picture of it on the plate, because it fell apart and wasn’t very pretty. Even though it wasn’t pretty, I loved how it tasted! I would add another layer and I would add more cheese (there is never enough cheese!). But I am definitely making this dish again.