Eggplant


Eggplant ParmesanPhotography Beau Gustafson

Food and Recipe Carolyn Deutcsh Bell

 

Nothing says “summer veg”  like eggplant.   Just when the spring and early summer harvest is coming to an end and before the fall planting  comes in, eggplant is found in many varieties at your local farmers market.  Eggplant Parmesan is an easy delicious recipe that takes about an hour to cook and feeds 4-6.

 

Eggplant Parmesan:

4 large  eggplants 1 to 1.5 pounds a piece.

Two jars tomato sauce (I like tomato basil)

1 pound browned ground beef added

2 tablespoons garlic

Salt

1 block “Pollyo” Mozzarella cheese, thinly sliced

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

“Viggo” Italian style bread crumbs with Romano cheese

4 to 5 eggs

Olive Oil

Fresh basil leaves

Spaghetti

 

Pour both jars of tomato sauce in a pot and cook on simmer. Brown ground beef with garlic and olive oil in a skillet. Drain and add meat to sauce. Let simmer until ready to assemble.

Thirty minutes to an hour before you are ready to fry the eggplant you need to prep them. Cut off the tops and bases… and peel the skin from the eggplants. Slice them in to 3/4 inch rounds. (Prepping them this way helps to remove the “harsh” taste that many associate with the eggplant when not prepared properly). Place the eggplant slices in a single layer in a pasta colander and sprinkle liberally with salt. Repeat in single layers until all the eggplant has been salted. Place colander in a deep serving dish to catch the liquid. Let stand for at least 30 minutes. When time is up remove eggplant slices, rinse with cold water and place on a paper towel. Make sure you pat them dry. Fill a large frying pan almost halfway with good olive oil and heat over medium heat. While the oil is heating whisk 4 to 5 eggs in a large bowl then place 3 cups of bread crumbs in another large bowl.

This is a good point to get your oven heated to 400 degrees

Cover the slices of eggplant in egg wash first then dredge with bread crumbs. If the oil is hot enough get them in there right away. Be careful not to get the oil too hot as you don’t want it to burn. Cook the eggplant until golden brown, turning once and then place on paper towels. Grease a baking pan. Once all eggplant is fried, you are ready to assemble the dish.

Remove sauce mixture from heat.

Spoon sauce mixture on bottom of pan. Do NOT use too much sauce as there may be some liquid that cooks out of the eggplant. Then layer eggplant slices evenly in a single layer. then top eggplant with mozzarella slices and basil slices. Then sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Repeat until all slices are used ending with parmesan cheese. Cook at 400 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes. While eggplant is cooking,  Bring pasta water to a boil…cook pasta.

Serve eggplant with a side of spaghetti topped with remaining meat sauce.

Leave a Reply