Eggplant Matzo Mina
Matzo minas are layered vegetable casseroles served at Sephardic Passover Seders. This one can be aptly described as a matzo lasagna. Many variations are made by Sephardic Jews of various cultures. This one is of definite Italian influence, and will certainly remind you of an eggplant lasagna.
Serves: 8 to 10
- 2 medium eggplants, about 2 pounds total
- 2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 15-ounce can tomato sauce
- 14- to 16-ounce can diced tomatoes, lightly drained
- 2 to 3 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
- 1/2 teaspoon each: dried oregano, dried basil, and paprika
- Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 6 matzos
- 12 ounces mozzarella-style non-dairy cheese, grated (see Note)
Preheat the broiler.
Cut the eggplants into l/2-inch slices and peel. Brush lightly with some of the oil and broil on each side until tender.
Heat the oil in a deep saucepan. Add the onion and garlic and sauté until golden. Add the tomato sauce, tomatoes, parsley, and seasonings. Bring to a simmer and cook over low heat, covered, for 15 minutes.
Break each matzo into three strips. Fill a shallow casserole dish with lightly salted water. Place the matzo strips in it for 2 to 3 minutes until pliable but not mushy. Remove carefully to a plate.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
Lightly oil a large, shallow baking casserole and layer as follows: a thin layer of sauce, a layer of eggplant, a layer of matzo, and a layer of cheese. Repeat. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the cheese is touched with brown spots.
Note: Using Daiya cheese (which is made from tapioca flour), should be fine for Spehardic Passover, if you aren’t concerned that this product isn’t specifically Kosher for Passover. You can even use soy cheese, since many Sephardic cultures continue to use beans (and as you know, many non-dairy cheeses are derived from soybeans) during Passover, whereas the Ashkenazic tradition does not.