Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, September 30

Gapers Block

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This week was going to be about bread, like I usually write about here. With all this winter we've been having, I woke up super mega-early one Sunday (say about 8:30) and went to re-visit an old friend, French Bread. I've made French bread many, many times and am always pretty satisfied with the result. By letting it rise three times, you get quite a rich flavor in the bread. And the lack of dairy in the bread gives it an earthy flavor that's divine.

Except this early Sunday, that's not what I got.

Probably due to the lack of proper coffee, or perhaps the dementia caused by rising before 9am on a Sunday, I just began putting things together to get my bread started. I was 3 cups of flour into making the dough when I realized that I was using wheat flour instead of white, and what's more, I didn't have any all-purpose flour.

So while everything worked as well as one might expect, you've probably never had whole-wheat French bread, and that's a good thing. I speak from experience here.

So instead I'll share a recipe that we made up based up on an idea Shylo put together: noodle-less lasagna. This ain't your mother's lasagna: no meat, no noodles, and a lot of flavor.

For this recipe you'll need:

- 1 normal eggplant
- 2 32 oz cans whole tomatoes (fresh will do too if you can get 'em)
- 1 lb shredded mozzarella cheese
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1/2 onion, diced
- red wine cubes (we freeze our left-over vino for cases like this)
- some herbs (basil, thyme, oregano, etc.)
- freshly washed and shredded spinach.

1. Peel all the skin off of the eggplant.
2. Using a vegetable peeler, create as many thing slices of eggplant as you can. Once it starts to have seeds, stop. Toss the remains of the eggplant.
3. Saute the onions and garlic in a small amount of olive oil.
4. Drain the liquid from the tomatoes. Once the cooking onions begin to wilt, add the tomatoes by crushing them in your hands.
5. Toss in some red wine if you have it, and continue to simmer everything and reduce the liquid slightly.
6. Once you're just about done with sauteing the liquid, add the herbs. We chose a little bit a basil and some salt and pepper.
7. Now it's like regular old lasagna:
  - Put a thin layer of eggplant of in a 9x11 plan.
  - Place a thin layer of the tomato sauce.
  - Add a layer of spinach.
  - Add a thin layer of cheese
  - Lather, rinse, repeat.

8. On the last layer, sprinkle some cheese on top to create tasty topping.
9. Put some aluminum foil over the top and bake for 40 minutes. For the last 15 minutes, take off the foil.

Hope you enjoy this dish as much as I did.

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