When I put grated cheese on anything, like for this Eggplant and Tomato-Cheese Baked Casserole, my kids ate everything, no questions asked. This often happened when they were little. They weren’t picky eaters. But as a busy mom, I often had no choice but to make quick, swift decisions for dinner. Often, I only had time to open the refrigerator, scan the contents and decide on the spot what was for dinner that night.
And this was what happened with this eggplant-tomato cheese bake. I had eggplants, yes the ones which are my favorite – the Japanese eggplants from Asian markets. They’re long, slim, are sweeter, and have a thinner outer skin. I had giant New Jersey tomatoes, yes the ones my garden state is famous for. I had shallots left from pickling summer produce. And I had grated cheese. Instantly, I knew dinner was going to be different, but definitely divine!
Soon as I walked in the door 30 minutes to dinner, I knew I would make it to the table in time. I just quickly sliced everything, piled them in layers, poured the heavy cream, the tomato sauce, dotted the cheese everywhere, added breadcrumbs just to finish it off and presto, it went into the oven. When the foil cover came off the vegetable casserole, I could not believe I did this magnificent meal so quickly. The layers were richly covered in cheese, a creamy sauce and oh so good served on steamy boiled white rice. Dinner was done and it was effortless, easy and superb.
Eggplant and Tomato- Cheese Casserole
- Oven-proof Casserole Pan: 9 x 11 inches or 8 x 8 inches
- 3 whole Asian eggplants sliced thin, enough to total 2 and 1/2 cups ; or use 1 whole aubergine
- 2 whole large salad tomatoes sliced
- 1 whole onion sliced
- 1 cup breadcrumbs
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup tomato sauce
- 1 1/2 cups grated cheddar cheese
- 1 cup sliced asparagus washed, ends trimmed; cut into 1-inch pieces
- Preheat the oven to 350 F degrees.
- Grease a baking pan with cooking spray or brush the bottom and sides with a little vegetable oil.
- Add the salt and pepper to the breadcrumbs in a small bowl and mix well.
- Layer the vegetables in this order : Sliced eggplants, tomatoes, asparagus, onions, seasoned breadcrumbs. Then repeat the layers till baking dish is filled to the top.
- Pour the heavy cream and tomato sauce on the layered vegetables. No need to stir. It will all blend when it’s baking.
- Sprinkle the seasoned breadcrumbs and grated cheese on top. Cover the entire casserole with aluminum foil. Bake at 350 F degrees for 30 minutes. Serve hot with boiled rice or bread.
- Cook’s Comments: If Japanese eggplants are not available, use the larger aubergines. You may add other vegetables like green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, red or green peppers or any in season. If preferred, you may add a few tablespoons of cooked ground beef or pork between the vegetable layers. This will make the dish meatier and heartier.
Notes on Nutrition: The nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and specific brands of ingredients used.
Did you like this recipe?I have more Filipino Instant Pot recipes in my newest cookbook Instant Filipino Recipes: My Mother’s Traditional Philippine Cooking in A Multicooker Pot by Elizabeth Ann Besa-Quirino. I also have more classic recipes inspired by my mother’s cooking in my popular cookbook: My Mother’s Philippine Recipes. If you’re learning how to cook Filipino food or a fan of Philippine cuisine, buy my cookbooks and books on Amazon.com sold worldwide in paperback and Kindle format.
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