In the past two weeks I have turned my laptop on several times with the intention of blogging a recipe. Unfortunately the impulse to check the news is too powerful and I have spent each night poring over articles and videos about the Israeli-Arab conflict. Technology has given us the ability to hear and see hundreds and thousands of wartime reports; the tragedy is that this same technology has imprisoned us by our own bias. I am tired of the noise from both sides and, rather than taking a tumble down the rabbit hole tonight, I decided to blog.
Tonight I feel the thousands of miles which divide my world from theirs; I am torn as I sit in my apartment, calmly cooking for the work-week, the only sounds of struggle coming from “The Honourable Woman” on my television (because of course I choose to unwind to a show about the conflict itself). I am not sure what I am trying to say. I feel helpless and overwhelmed and so fortunate to be where I am at this very moment – but the feeling of longing, and a slight desire to be there, still exists.
So my solution tonight was to cook, to feel in control of what I would be eating this week at work, to ensure that the food I put into my body is both healthy and delicious. Unfortunately this recipe will offer no solution to the Middle East. But it helped me forget about things for a bit, and sometimes that is enough.
1 large eggplant
2 cups of cherry tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
3/4 cup of tomato sauce or canned diced tomatoes
1 avocado (do not use the skin or pit)
1/2 cup of frozen kale
1/2 cup of goat cheese
1/2 cup of shaved Parmesan cheese
2 cups of steamed broccoli florets (I used frozen and steamed)
Salt, pepper, olive oil
Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Chop off the top of the eggplant, removing the stem, and begin slicing the eggplant into thin strips. Lay the strips on a foil-lined baking sheet and brush lightly with olive oil. Bake at 450 degrees for 40 minutes, turning the strips over halfway through.
In a food processor or blender, combine the cherry tomatoes and garlic clove and blend until it reaches a salsa-like consistency (I also sprinkled in some crushed red pepper flakes). Set aside. Use the blender to also combine the flesh from the avocado, frozen kale, and 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Blend until smooth and creamy. Set aside.
Using an oven safe dish, begin constructing your lasagna. Place a layer of eggplant on the bottom, letting the strips overlap.
Top with all of the tomato sauce (or canned or diced tomatoes – not the cherry tomato mix). Crumble all of the goat cheese over the tomato sauce.
Next up, add a layer of eggplant and spread the avocado blend on top. Then spread the cherry tomato mixture. Add broccoli florets. Repeat (eggplant+avocado+cherry tomatoes+broccoli) until you run out of toppings. I ended with a layer of eggplant, then broccoli on top.
For that extra hint of flavor, top the entire thing with shaved Parmesan, fresh pepper, and a bit of salt.
Bake for 25 minutes at 400 degrees and let cool before eating.