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Created for the RSC Summer 2005 contest. I must admit that if I hadn't needed the orzo to make up the 5th ingredient required for the contest, I would have omitted it. You can peel the eggplant if you want; I don't bother, but I do wash it.
- 1 (8 ounce) package orzo pasta, cooked
- olive oil flavored cooking spray
- 1 medium fresh eggplant, unpeeled, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 4 medium fresh tomatoes, sliced 1/2-inch thick
- 4 tablespoons flour
- olive oil or vegetable oil
- 1 large onion, sliced thin
- 1 -2 garlic clove, minced
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 cup beef bouillon
- 2 tablespoons cream
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1⁄2 cup parmesan cheese
- 1⁄3 cup chopped kalamata olive
- Spread orzo in bottom of 13-inch x 9-inch pan coated with olive oil flavored cooking spray.
- Lightly coat both sides eggplant slices with cooking spray and sauté in batches over medium heat in a large skillet until lightly browned on both sides (if slices get too dry, mist pan and slices with more spray); set aside.
- Meanwhile, dust tomato slices with flour and, in a separate pan, fry in batches in 1/4 inch oil until lightly browned on both sides; set aside.
- Re-spray skillet you cooked eggplant in and sauté onion slices with garlic until soft and golden.
- Spread half the tomatoes in a layer over the orzo, then half the onion-garlic mixture, then half the eggplant slices; repeat layers.
- Make sauce: Melt butter and blend in flour until smooth. Add bouillon slowly, stirring constantly, until thickened. Add cream, oregano and cinnamon. Simmer very gently for about 1 minute.
- Pour sauce over casserole.
- Sprinkle casserole with the parmesan cheese and scatter chopped olives over the top.
- Bake at 400°F about 15 minutes until top is crispy brown.