My favorite pasta dish by far is lasagna, and the noodles in that are pretty much just for structure. So a few weeks ago I was wondering... could I replace the noodles with a neutral-tasting veggie like zucchini or eggplant...? With that thought, I went ahead and made a batch of fake lasagna with eggplant slices.
My expectation was that the eggplant would be firm but pretty flavorless.
As it turns out, I was WRONG - but in the best way possible! The eggplant was NOT flavorless - it was DELICIOUS! I was really surprised since I haven't eaten much eggplant before. Since then I've made the eggplant-lasagna again not because it's carb-free, but because it tastes amazing. Seriously.
Carb-Free (Better-Than-Regular) Lasagna
Cottage cheese or ricotta cheese, whichever you prefer
Peel your eggplant!
Slice it thinly, and sprinkle both sides of each slice with a pinch of salt. Lay the slices of eggplant on towels, with a new towel between each layer. Then put a towel on top of the last layer, and press it down with something heavy. (I used quart jars of stock I had nearby.)
Leave the salted eggplant under the weight for about an hour. The salting and pressing are to get rid of excess water, so that you can brown the eggplant and your lasagna won't be waterlogged. You can see in the above picture how much water came out of just one eggplant!
Once an hour has gone by, rinse the salt off the eggplant and pat dry.
Heat some oil in a frying pan on medium-high until it starts to smoke. Add a few slices of eggplant, and really brown those suckers on both sides! The browned parts are the tasty parts. Mm'mm....
Once all your eggplant is browned, just assemble the rest of ingredients like you would for any other lasagna. Put some sauce in the bottom, add eggplant 'noodles', ricotta, mushrooms, and mozzarella cheese. Repeat until your lasagna pan is full! Since Jack is out of town this weekend, I used my loaf pan to make a small lasagna just for myself. :-)
Bake at 350 for 45 - 60 minutes, until it's bubbling at the edges.
Doesn't that look delicious? You'll never miss those bland noodles!