The most brilliant ideas and the most carefully laid plans can and will go awry despite the best intentions and the most valiant efforts. Today, for instance, the plan was to grill an eggplant (aubergine) for a dish. My George Foreman Lean Mean Fat Reducing Grilling Machine was too small and I didn’t feel like firing up the outdoor charcoal grill so I got the brilliant idea to use my stovetop Belgian waffle iron. Just out of curiosity I checked the internet to see if it had been done before. The answer was, yes of course, there is nothing new under the sun.
I cut the eggplant into thick slices (1 1/2 to 2 inches) to allow for shrinkage, brushed them on both sides with oil and seasoned them with salt and pepper. Several minutes of cooking resulted in a big mess, not at all the waffled aubergine steaks I was hoping for.
In an attempt to salvage the situation I mixed whole wheat sourdough bread crumbs with the cooked eggplant. Meanwhile the rest of the slices were cooked in the Cuisinart Oven Central.
I pressed the eggplant bread crumb mixture and the other cooked slices into the bottom of the cooking tray of the Oven Central.
On top of the eggplant I spread a tomato, mushroom and spinach sauce.
The sauce was made with canned Italian tomatoes to which I added dried basil and oregano.
Sliced mushrooms which had been cooked in a dry skillet were then added to the tomato sauce followed by chopped fresh spinach.
Sliced black olives were scattered on top of the aubergine mixture and tomato sauce.
Next was a layer of shredded Asiago cheese mixed with whole wheat sourdough bread crumbs. Lastly, a few artichokes were placed and topped with another sprinkling of shredded Asiago cheese.
All this was baked in Oven Central for 30 minutes or more with top and bottom 450ºF heat.
It wasn’t the way I envisioned assembling this dish but all is well that ends well. All the right flavors were there and we quite enjoyed it.