Prep 45 mins
Cook 30 mins
Just visit your local farmer's market this time of year to pick up almost everything you need for this fresh tasting eggplant parm. The idea here is add whatever ingredients look fresh at the market.
- 1 small eggplant
- 2 lbs roma tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic, chopped
- 2 bell peppers, diced (select whatever looks good, either bell or hot or a combination-I prefer hot as bell can be bitter)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (or more)
- 2 tablespoons red wine
- 1⁄2 teaspoon hot pepper flakes
- 1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 8 -10 basil leaves, torn
- salt, to taste
- 1 egg, lightly beaten
- seasoned bread crumbs
- mozzarella cheese, good quality fresh
- shaved parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch rounds. Salt both sides and set on paper towels to drain moisture. Let set for 30 minutes. Blot dry.
- Meanwhile, heat oil to medium and saute peppers, pepper flakes, and garlic. Heat until limp. Add wine. Reduce. Add tomatoes and oregano.
- Stir and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in basil. Season to taste with salt.
- While tomatoes are cooking, dip eggplant into flour and shake off excess. Discard flour. In same bowl add breadcrumbs. Dip flour coated eggplant into beaten egg, then bread crumbs.
- Place in single layer on cookie sheet, or better yet a cookie drying grate on top of a cookie sheet. Bake at 375°F for 25 minutes until crisp.
- Using a loaf pan sprayed with Pam, layer a spoonful of sauce. Top with a layer of cooked eggplant. Spread more sauce and top with more eggplant. (I get three slices of eggplant per layer).
- Top with mozzarella then another layer of sauce. Top with more eggplant, then cheese then sauce. Repeat one more time giving you four layers. Top with remaining sauce.
- Bake for 20 minutes.
- Top with good quality parmesan. Bake 10 more minutes. Remove from oven and let set for 10 minutes. Cut into four sections of layers.
The only places I deviated from the recipe was that I first peeled the eggplant to avoid the bitterness in the skin; then in the sauce I used only a pinch of red pepper flakes and substituted a 30 ounce can of diced tomatoes as my garden offered slim pickins that day. I did use a wire rack when baking the coated eggplant which made nice crisp slices with no danger of greasiness. I prepared this early in the day, refrigerated, then popped into the oven in time for dinner without stress. I did add a bit of extra baking time to adjust for the refrigerated start. Served with a big mixed green salad. Lovely light summer supper, although next time I think some focaccia might go well with it.
Wow - this packs a lot of flavor and freshness in one bite! I had all the ingredients fresh from the garden, except my tomatoes were also somewhat lacking. I had to substitute a 28 oz. can of Italian plum tomatoes, which worked out well. I also added some chopped Sante Fe peppers that I wanted to use but, surprisingly, there was not a lot of heat (even using the red pepper flakes). The recipe didn't indicate, but I added the red wine with the tomatoes. Also, I was somewhat confused about oven temp. I decide to cook both the eggplant slices (on a rack, as suggested) and the composed dish at 375 and that worked out well. I only ended up with three layers, but it filled my loaf pan. The fresh mozzarella was like the icing on the cake! Thanks for sharing this wonderful recipe. I know what I'm doing with my eggplant the rest of this summer!