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Video: Layer up the veggies in this hot, healthy dish

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    >>> it's time to take you into today's kitchen and show you what's cookin'. on the menu, an italian-style vegetable main course .

    >> then who knows italian cooking better than sal! from his italian restaurant right here in new york city .

    >> glad to have you back.

    >> thank you. i made this 20 years ago for people, vegetarians but it gives you a main course . staples with zucchini and eggplant. i sliced them up. i left the skin on. a little flour and egg.

    >> egg after that.

    >> yes. olive oil .

    >> uh-huh, uh-huh.

    >> very simple.

    >> so far, we can do it.

    >> you can do it.

    >> how long do you cook those babies for?

    >> a minute or two minutes on each side.

    >> here we have spinach that we steamed already. i have olive oil and some garlic. i love the smell of that.

    >> the idea is to try to keep this dry. the big part about this dish is to keep it as dry as you can so i wouldn't add any more water. salt and pepper .

    >> that smells good.

    >> smells good, tastes good. we move over here where we start to assemble. this is a baking pan . you put the butter and bread crumbs so when you unmold it, it's easy to do.

    >> i already put the layer of eggplant.

    >> i love eggplant.

    >> you can hand me those?

    >> yep.

    >> going to make it like a little lasagna?

    >> a little sauce. not too much. you want to keep it wet. not too much. a layer of vegetables. now i have the zucchini.

    >> oh, gosh. awesome!

    >> i can't even fake it.

    >> plop down that tomato sauce .

    >> cheese. and on on. the layer of spinach now.

    >> oh.

    >> nice and dry. pat it down. come around this side. come around this side here. . we bake this in the oven at 400 degrees for about --

    >> oh, look at it.

    >> it's napoleon because it looks like a napoleon.

    >> it sure does. how long do you cook this?

    >> about 35 to 45 minutes. you put it here in a dish, flip it over.

    >> beautiful.

    >> then we put some tomato sauce . parmesan cheese .

    >> no cheese for me.

    >> give it a shot.

    >> tomorrow from the show "iron side" the very handsome blair underwood .

    >> and you see that. look what happened with the mustard. gonzo!

    >> david arquette will be with us. we'll have

TODAY recipes
updated 10/1/2013 10:26:54 AM ET 2013-10-01T14:26:54

Recipe: Vegetable Napoleon

Ingredients
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 medium eggplant (about 1 1/4 pounds), ends trimmed, peeled. And cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 medium zucchini (about 1 pound), ends trimmed, sliced into 1/2 inch rounds
  • 1 pound spinach, washed and trimmed
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter, for greasing pan
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups tomato Sauce
  • 2 roasted red bell Peppers, cut into 1/4 inch strips
  • 1 pound mozzarella, diced into small cubes
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil
Preparation

Spread the flour on a large plate. Lightly coat the eggplant slices with flour and then dip in the beaten eggs. Heat ¼ cup of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high flame. Fry the eggplant slices, turning to cook on both sides, until lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove. Place on paper towels to drain, and reserve.

Add the remaining ¼ cup of oil and the zucchini to the skillet and sauté until just lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Remove zucchini and place on paper towels to drain.

Meanwhile, bring 2 cups of water to a boil in a pot fitted with a steamer insert. Chop the spinach, add to the steamer, cover tightly, and steam for 3 minutes. Drain and press out as much water as possible. Add more oil to the skillet if necessary. Over medium heat, sauté the steamed spinach with the minced garlic until the spinach is just tender, about 3 minutes. Remove from the skillet and place on paper towels to drain.

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Butter the bottom and insides of a nonstick loaf pan, about 9x13 inches. Lightly coat with the bread crumbs.

While building the Napoleon, season each vegetable layer with salt and pepper. Begin by placing a layer of the cooked eggplant atop the bread crumbs. Spoon ¼ cup (4 tablespoons) of tomato sauce over the eggplant, followed by a layer of the cooked zucchini, the red pepper, spinach, and mozzarella. Moisten each layer with some sauce and a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano, bread crumbs, and basil.  The final layer should be eggplant, finished with sauce.

Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until all ingredients are heated through.  Allow to cool, then refrigerate for at least 6 hours (preferably overnight) to firmly set before unmolding.

When ready to serve, remove the foil and run a knife along the inside edge of the pan.  Place a serving dish on top of the pan and quickly invert. Spoon additional sauce around the Napoleon and sprinkle generously with grated cheese before serving.

Serving Size

Makes 10 servings

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