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Beef and Eggplant Casserole Family Dinner Recipe

During the mid to late summer, our eggplant from our garden comes into season. One of our favorite eggplant recipes is this easy to make casserole dish with the addition of lean ground beef.

This recipe does take some time to make, so I would recommend it for a weekend dinner, however, your efforts to make it will be rewarded as it is very delicious.

Beef and Eggplant Casserole

2 tablespoons butter, softened
1/3 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
3 cans (8 ounce) tomato sauce
1 1/2 lbs. lean ground beef
2 teaspoons oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon parsley
1/8 teaspoon anise seed
1 eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds in size)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1/2 cup seasoned dried bread crumbs
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2/3 cup vegetable oil
1-2 packages Mozzarella cheese, sliced

In a large skillet, melt the butter and then saute the onions, garlic and ground beef until the beef is no longer pink. Stir in the tomato sauce, oregano, basil, parsley and anise seed, mix well. Simmer the mixture for 7 minutes over low heat, then set aside.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 9 x 13″ baking dish with nonstick vegetable spray. Wash eggplant and slice down to 1/4″ thick pieces.

Combine eggs and 1 tablespoon water in a medium-sized bowl, mix well. In a large pie plate, combine the bread crumbs and a 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese. Dip the eggplant slices in egg mixture and then into the bread crumbs mixture, until they are coated in crumbs.

In a frying pan with a little bit of vegetable oil, saute the eggplant slices until they are golden brown on both sides, drain on paper towels.

Place a single layer of eggplant in the bottom of your baking dish. Sprinkle with some of the remaining Parmesan cheese, top with a few slices of Mozzarella cheese and then cover with some of the sauce. Repeat layering until all ingredients are used, making sure to cover the top with Mozzarella cheese.

Bake in a preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the cheese is melted and bubbly. Makes 4-6 servings.