Thursday, October 7, 2010

Eggplant Parmesan

My friend Ronn brought some eggplant from his garden. Along with the eggplant, he included fresh basil and oregano. Ratatouille is a great use of eggplant, but so is the classic Parmesan.

This is a no-fry variation of the recipe. Think of it as a vegetable lasagna.

Recipe # 39 Eggplant Parmesan

1 or 2 small eggplants
1/4 cup flour
1 cup bread crumbs
1 egg
2 cups red sauce *
12 oz mozzarella cheese (fresh ball)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (grated)

Peel and slice the eggplant into 1/4 inch slices. Salt the slices and set aside for about an hour. The salt will draw out the excess moisture and reduce the bitterness. Rinse and shake dry.

Coat the slices with flour, dip in a beaten egg, and coat with crumbs. Lay slices on a greased baking sheet. Cook at 350 for about 10 minutes. Turn slices over and cook for another 10 minutes until browned.

In a casserole dish place a layer of sauce on the bottom and cover with eggplant slices. Next cover each eggplant slice with a slice of mozzarella cheese. Cover with red sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan. Repeat layers until everything is used up. Sprinkle cheese on top and add a few basil leaves to finish it up. Return the assembled dish to the oven. Bake at 350 for 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is melted and the sauce bubbling.

Use any red sauce, jarred or homemade. While I was waiting for the salt to work on the eggplant I made this easy sauce.

* Easy Red Sauce -

2 eight ounce cans of tomato sauce
2Tbl olive oil
chopped onion
chopped carrot
chopped celery
chopped garlic
oregano and basic.
I used about two tablespoons each of celery, carrot, and onion. Add one garlic clove, or more if you like.. Saute vegetables in the oil in the bottom of a small sauce pan. Don't rush it, cook for at least 10 minutes until the onions are soft. Add the tomato sauce and simmer for an hour.

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