We know it is summer when we can finally make our yummy eggplant lasagna. Because I live at a high altitude the weather is much colder than most of Brazil, nights are cold all year around and we actually have some seasons or at least there is a distinct difference between our winter and summer. All of this means that we cannot grow specific vegetables throughout the whole year. Mainly it is the fruits that we cannot grow such as tomatoes, peppers, zucchini, cucumbers and eggplant.
We begin seeding our summer fruits in august, get the transplants in the ground by mid October and begin harvesting cucumber and zucchini by late November or early December. Tomatoes we can harvest by the end of December and pepper and eggplant only in January. By April it already begins to get too cold to continue planting. We are able to harvest into mid May, but by June all of our summer fruits are finished.
So, a lot of the year we eat the basic vegetables such as collards, beets, carrots, escarole and spinach. But, when summer starts we go crazy in the kitchen with all of our summer dishes. We make a lot of antipastos, turn a lot of our tomatoes into sauce that usually lasts us the whole year and we make one of our all time favorite dishes: eggplant lasagna.
We love eggplant and when we have it we eat as much as possible. Our eggplant lasagna usually makes it into our menu on a weekly basis. It is so simple and we actually make this without pasta, so it is gluten-free!
We know that summer has really started when we can make our eggplant lasagna. So, yesterday was the first day I made eggplant lasagna and although it is unseasonable cold we know that summer is here!
2 large eggplants or 4 small
2 large jars/cans of tomato sauce
1 recipe of white sauce or bechamel
Parmesan cheese or mozzarella
Slice the eggplant as thinly as possible, length wise. Place in a bowl and season with olive oil, salt and pepper. Let rest for approximately 10-15 minutes.
Make one recipe of white sauce or bechamel. I do not use measurements, so if you do not have your own recipe you can follow this one HERE!
Preheat oven to 250C/480F.
To assemble the lasagna begin by spreading a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of your lasagna pan. Place a full layer of eggplant on top of the tomato sauce, cover with the white sauce and next add the tomato sauce. Continue in this manner until you have finished all ingredients or reached the top of your pan. Top with cheese.
Cover with aluminium foil and cook in the oven for 45-60 minutes. When almost baked through, uncover and allow the top to brown.