How to make eggplant bean casserole

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Vegans, vegetarians and those just looking for a meal for meatless Monday will love this eggplant bean casserole! The recipe that follows is all about the creamy factor, as both eggplant and beans become very soft when cooked. To provide a bit of contrast and texture, though, the skin is left on the eggplant, which provides even more fiber and nutrients.
Although the eggplant cooks right in the sauce, it still comes to the forefront of the dish and really shines. The eggplant is cooked ahead of time, so once the sauce has been brought to a simmer, it takes barely any time to cook the rest. After all the ingredients have been brought together, the dish gets a quick bake in the oven, and you're well on your way to enjoying a delicious meal. Nobody will even miss not eating meat.
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Eggplant Bean Casserole
6
10 minutes
35 minutes
45 minutes
1 large eggplant, cubed with skin on
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 bay leaf
1 onion, small dice
1 stalk celery, small dice
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup white wine
1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes, drained
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 tablespoon dried basil
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 15-ounce can white kidney beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F and grease a 9-by-13 casserole dish.
Place the eggplant on a baking dish and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss to coat.
Place the eggplant in the preheated oven and bake for 20 minutes until soft and just starting to brown.
While the eggplant is cooking, heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a medium-sized saucepan over medium heat.
Add the onion and celery and cook for 3 minutes until soft.
Add the garlic and cook for another 30 seconds.
Add the wine and continue cooking for 2 more minutes to cook out some of the alcohol.
Add the tomato paste, basil, oregano and bay leaf and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the canned tomatoes and cook for 5 minutes.
Remove the bay leaf from the pan.
Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until smooth.
Put the sauce back on the heat and add the cubed eggplant to the saucepan. Bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes, until the sauce slightly thickens.
Add the beans to the sauce and stir. Pour contents into the prepared casserole dish.
Place casserole dish into the oven and bake for 15 minutes.
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