I’m really on an eggplant kick this week. It’s so delicious and versatile as well. So many ways to prepare it, either alone or in combination with other vegetables and meats. I even have a Jicama-Eggplant Dressing and an Eggplant-Sausage Stuffing that are both out of this world!
I’m always been fascinated by layered terrines when the chefs press them into terrine pans on television cooking shows. They are even prettier, and can be quite colorful with the right ingredients, when they are sliced. My only terrine experiment to date has been one with eggplant and ground beef that resembles lasagna in appearance and flavor. For that one, I used a non-stick meatloaf pan that is extra long (12″ x 4″). I debated on whether to use spaghetti sauce or a beaten egg-cream mixture and opted for the red this time. I will be trying the other version soon though. 🙂 I used “Classico” brand Tomato & Basil spaghetti sauce (6 NC per ½ cup) and used VERY little of it between each layer of the torte to avoid it being “soupy”. This recipe is suitable for all phases of Atkins, Keto diets and Primal Blueprint.
VARIATIONS: Omit the pound of ground beef for a more dominant eggplant-tasting dish. Another variation would be to omit the red spaghetti sauce and use a sauce of 4 eggs beaten with 1/4 c. heavy cream spread between the layers. You will need to recalculate carbs with these variations.
12 oz. eggplant, sliced thin 1/8″ thick (allow more time for thicker slicing)
1 lb. ground beef
1 c. low-carb meatless spaghetti sauce of your choice
1 c. shredded mozzarella cheese
8 basil leaves, chopped
¼ c. shredded Parmesan cheese
DIRECTIONS: Preheat oven to 350º. Oil a terrine pan or meatloaf pan lightly and set aside. Stem and cut the eggplant lengthwise into 1/8″ thin slices (for fastest cooking time). Set aside. In a skillet brown the ground beef. Add the basil and stir until it is wilted. Remove from heat.
To construct the terrine, place a single layer of eggplant slices on the bottom of the oiled pan. Dot with about 3 T. sauce and spread evenly with the back of your spoon. This is not much sauce, but you do not want this torte to come out soupy, so this is intentional. Top with about ¼ of the meat. Sprinkle with ¼ c. mozzarella. Place another layer of eggplant on the top. Press all down firmly with your fingers to compact. Repeat with the sauce, ¼ of the meat and cheese. Place the third single layer of eggplant slices and again press down firmly. Repeat with the sauce, ¼ of the meat, and cheese. Place the final layer of eggplant on top, the rest of the sauce, the last of the meat and the last of the mozzarella shreds. Press down again to compact the layers.
If you should have any unused eggplant slices, you can either decorate a final layer as shown (left) if serving to company, save the remaining eggplant for another day’s soup or chop it up for a future casserole. Sprinkle the top of the torte with the ¼ c. Parmesan cheese and cover tightly with foil. Bake at 350º for 45 minutes,then remove foil and bake another 10 minutes or until lightly browned on top. If knife goes into center easily, it is completely done. Thicker eggplant will require probably 15 more minutes cooking time. Remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before attempting to cut into four equal servings.
NUTRITIONAL INFO: Makes 4 servings, each contains:
445 calories, 31 g fat, 10.15 g carbs, 3.92 g fiber, 7.23 g NET CARBS, 30.6 g protein, 516 mg sodium