Pre-Step: Get yourself a no-sugar tomato sauce. (I have a few primal / paleo recommendations outlined here.) The difference is significant as most no-sugar sauces have around 6 g. sugar in a half cup, whereas sauces with sugar (or evaporated cane juice, or corn syrup, etc.) can have much more more per half cup. I liked the relatively simple ingredient list and carb content of Gia Russa vodka sauce - which I found at my local Super Wal-Mart. (And I just like vodka sauce to begin with, because it has heavy cream and cheeses in it. Mmmmm.) If you have low carb brands that you like, feel free to post a comment and recommend!
2 cups tomato sauce of your choice
1 cup organic mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 block Kerrygold Dubliner cheese (1.75 oz.), sliced into long, thin slices about 1" by 4"
1/2 large-ish eggplant, sliced lengthwise into 1/16" slices.
1/2 stick butter
fresh basil (for garnish)
Salt your eggplant slices and place in a colander over a bowl for 30 minutes. This allows the eggplant slices to "weep" some of the bitter juices. (No kidding!)
Rinse off eggplant slices and coat with just a bit of pepper and garlic powder. Line one layer deep in a cookie sheet and drizzle 1 stick melted butter over the slices. Broil on high (550 on my oven) for 4 minutes. Remove eggplant slices from oven and set oven on 400 F.
Stack the broiled eggplant slices two-high in a baking dish, with a slices of Kerrygold Dubliner between each slice. Cover with a thin layer of your tomato sauce*, and then a generous sprinkling of the mozzarella. Bake 15 minutes at 400. If you like your cheese brown and bubbly, do an additional 2 minutes of broiling.
Garnish with fresh basil and serve immediately.
Added notes based on later executions of this recipe
(pronounced by my nonprimal brother as terrific):
- You could also add a bit of ground beef or turkey to the sauce if you'd like the dish to be meatier.
- For an especially fancy touch, add a thin slice of buffalo mozzarella AND a spoonful of cottage cheese or ricotta between slices - and top with freshly sliced parmesan.
- Slice your eggplant slices into serving-sized squares, and stack'em 3 high instead of 2 high. This way, when it comes out of the oven bubbling with cheesy goodness, you don't have to fuss with slicing through layers of cooked eggplant.
- Garnish with dried oregano and dried basil in the absence of fresh herbs.