Mexican Eggplant Casserole Recipe
Eggplant, as you may already know, is native to India and not the Americas. This vegetable (actually a berry, botanically speaking) is a relative newcomer to the Americas but like many Old World vegetables, eggplant has found a warm welcome in Mexico where fresh produce is very much appreciated and used in all kinds of Mexican food recipes, to add nutritional value and to enhance the flavors.
This Mexican eggplant casserole takes this vegetable and gives it a Mexican-inspired treatment. Something like a south of the border eggplant parmesan, the always-versatile eggplant is combined with old friends like tomatoes, garlic and cheese and new ones – chilies and cilantro. Together, this is an eggplant casserole recipe that will be greeted with excitement at your table.
Even those who profess to despise this vegetable will find themselves charmed by this savory, spicy Mexican eggplant casserole because of the way the flavors seem to blend together to make a perfect flavor and because this is a well-rounded and well-balanced dish. If you are used to the same casserole recipes every week, this Mexican eggplant casserole will make a real change and your family will love trying something new. You meanwhile will love the fact they are eating so healthily.
The eggplant needs to be boiled for just a few minutes, then it can be layered in a casserole dish with a sauce made from tomato, onion, garlic, chilies, egg, and cilantro. The casserole is then baked for a while, topped with cheese and baked again. If you add the cheese too early it will brown too quickly, so cook the casserole for a while before adding it for the best results.
This dish combines a variety of fresh vegetables with cheese, chilies, egg and cilantro, to make something with distinctive Mexican flavors. This is very nice served alongside chicken or steak, or you could serve it as the main dish for a vegetarian, and they will be impressed you made the effort to make something so good.
- 1 large or 2 medium eggplants, cubed
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 6 roma tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)
- 1 medium-sized yellow onion, diced
- ½ cup green chilies, diced – canned is fine, or 2 fresh poblano and 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
- 1 tbsp fresh cilantro, minced
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 1 cup Monterey Jack or Oaxaca cheese, grated
- A pinch of salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
- Boil the eggplant in just enough lightly salted water to cover and boil for about 10 minutes – this will partially cook the eggplant and remove its bitterness.
- Drain the eggplant and layer in a lightly oiled baking dish.
- Mix together the rest of the ingredients, other than the cheese and pour over the eggplant.
- Bake casserole for 30 minutes, covered.
- Remove from the oven, top with the cheese and reduce the heat to 350 degrees.
- Bake uncovered for another 15-20 minutes, until the cheese bubbles and has started to brown.
- Remove your Mexican eggplant casserole from the oven and allow to cool for a few minutes before bringing to the table and watching it disappear.
Cheese-topped eggplant casserole might not be the first Mexican side dish to come to mind, but this Mexican inspired Southern dish is too good to miss. Combining various fresh ingredients such as tomatoes, eggplant and onion, and adding cilantro and chilies for a south of the border accent, this dish is creamy, cheese, and best served piping hot from the oven, either by itself or as a side dish. If you are looking for something unusual to do with eggplant which isn’t moussaka or parmigiana, consider this winning Mexican style casserole.
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