Friday, July 29, 2011

More ways to use eggplant: lasagna

Eggplant spinach lasagna
Homemade pasta made with fresh duck eggs from the yard; eggplant from the garden; spicy bolognese made with the addition of fragrant sweet fennel, red pepper flakes, and extra bold Tellicherry black pepper; white and green layers of cheese mixture made with ricotta, mozzarella, "Italian cheese mix," spinach, duck eggs, and a subtle hint of nutmeg.

In case you were wondering where I get duck eggs, meet Gladys and Ella. They live in my backyard and lay on average one egg each per day, which turns out to be the perfect quantity for a two (hungry) man household. Below is a picture of my friend Silvana feeding them their favorite treat, Romaine lettuce. Duck eggs are rich, almost too rich for some. The yolk is giant and dark orange while the white is almost bluish transparent. It took making a génoise with duck eggs before I understood why they are such a fetish commodity among bakers. With a higher protein content than chicken eggs and richer yolks, they provide more loft and more flavor than chicken eggs, making the perfect sponge cake or génoise. Duck egg brownies made with Valrhona 68% cacao baking chocolate and fresh butter are, I am convinced, the best thing under the sun. I make them only twice a year so I can truly appreciate their amazingness.

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