This is so good that I just opted to eat it for lunch AND dinner, despite the fact that there is leftover Thai food in the fridge. I don't even recognize myself right now.
From a blog called An Edible Mosaic. I doubled the recipe, which made it fit in a 9x13 casserole dish, and I substituted some winter veggies from our CSA for the eggplant.
(Yield: 2 servings) [I got 6 out of doubling it somehow; didn't measure any of my vegetables]
1 small (1/2 lb) eggplant, thinly sliced into about 1/4-inch rounds
Salt and pepper
[I used two large leeks and a medium-sized acorn squash.]
1/4 c quinoa
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 c tomato sauce (store-bought or homemade…if you want to make homemade, roasted tomato sauce or thick marinara sauce would be nice)
1/4 tsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp dried mint [I didn't have this and probably threw in about 2 t Italian seasoning]
Salt and pepper
1 TB unsalted butter
2 TB all-purpose flour
3/4 c milk (low-fat or fat-free is fine)
1 egg yolk [I didn't have this and used another T Earth balance instead... worked fine]
Salt and Pepper
1-2 TB grated Kefalotiri cheese (you can use Pecorino Romano cheese if you can’t find Kefalotiri) [I used about 2 T Romano and 4 T shredded gruyere instead]
16 oz gratin dish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
For eggplant: Preheat broiler. Arrange sliced eggplant in a single layer on a baking sheet; brush both sides with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Broil for 3-8 minutes on each side, until the eggplant is tender and golden.
[I halved the acorn squash and roasted it, cut side up with a little olive oil, at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes, until I could peel and cut it easily.]
For quinoa/tomato layer: Soak quinoa in cold water for 15 minutes. Strain it through a fine mesh sieve, then thoroughly rinse it under cold running water.
Heat 2 tsp oil in a small/medium saucepan with a lid over medium to medium-low heat; add onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. [I added the leeks in this step too.]
Add garlic and sauté another 30 seconds. Transfer the rinsed quinoa, 1/2 c water, and a pinch of salt to the saucepan with the onion/garlic mixture.
Bring to a boil over medium heat with the lid off; once it boils, give it a stir, cover it, and turn heat down to a gentle simmer.
Cook 14 minutes, turn the heat off, and let it sit with the lid on for 5 minutes before fluffing with a fork. Stir tomato sauce, oregano, mint, and a pinch of allspice into quinoa. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desired.
For béchamel: Warm the milk in a small saucepan over low heat.
In a separate small saucepan over medium-low heat, melt butter, then whisk in flour and cook 30 seconds to 1 minute. Slowly whisk in warm milk and cook until smooth, about 1 minute; turn off heat and whisk in a pinch of nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Slowly whisk 1/4 c of the béchamel sauce into the egg yolk, only adding a little at a time.
Add egg yolk mixture to the saucepan with the rest of the béchamel, turn the heat on low, and cook 1-2 minutes until thickened.
To assemble: Arrange half of the eggplant in the bottom of a 16 oz gratin dish; spread the quinoa/tomato mixture evenly on top of the eggplant. Arrange the remaining eggplant on top of the quinoa/tomato mixture; pour the béchamel on top and sprinkle on the grated cheese. Bake about 35 minutes, or until light golden brown on top.