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A passion for food, wine, friends and entertaining is a big part of our life. This is a way for us to document our experiences, passion for food & life and also share it with others.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Simple Fresh Eggplant Parmesan

I love the fall version of our local Farmer's Market. Last weekend we came home with a plethera of beautiful fall offerings.

You have to admit the colors of fall fruits and vegetables are pretty dramatic. We came  home with a small variety of tasty fresh finds. But what inspired us most was this beautiful eggplant.
And these lovely heirloom tomatoes.
Oh yes, eggplant parmesan was a must make recipe that made both of our mouths water in anticipation.
I love eggplant parmesan. The ooozey cheese and savory tomato sauce are beyond comfort food pleasures for me. But it's also one of those dishes that when I order it in the restaurant I just feel so guilty for indulging in, like a heart attack on a plate kind of reaction. And that's because most versions include a heavy breading that is also deep fried. Now don't get me wrong. It's delicious that way without a doubt.
But I was really hoping to find a way to make it :
1) Simple = I didn't want 1,000 steps of breading, frying, etc....
2) Fresh = I wanted to make a simple fresh tomato sauce and leave out breading & frying all together.
3) Delicious=even without the usual preparation I still was craving a comforting dish.
So I first started my tomato sauce. I blanched , peeled &  chopped my tomatoes.
Then put them in dutch over low heat with garlic and chopped basil, oregano and parsley from our patio herb garden.
While the sauce simmered I then sliced the beautiful eggplant, sprinkled them with salt and baked them in the oven about 20 minutes until they were soft.

I then layered eggplant starting with eggplant, then a spoonful of tomato sauce followed by a slice of fresh mozzarella repeating until I had two layers and topped with eggplant. I then sprinkled the top layer with grated parmesan cheese. Really very simple. Then I put them back in the oven until the cheese was melted and browned on top.

On the bottom of each plated I spooned a scoop of the tomato sauce and placed a stack of eggplant. We garnished the eggplant with some chopped basil.

We served the eggplant we some my favorite Walla Walla Syrah by L'Ecole. 


Simple Fresh Eggplant Parmesan
Tomato Sauce:
6-8 tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
1/2 Cup water
3 Cloves Garlic, minced
3 Tablespoons fresh herbs chopped (basil, parsley, oregano)
1 Tablespoon sugar
Salt & Pepper

14-16 slices of eggplant 1/2" thick
8 slices fresh mozzarella (we used buffalo mozzarella)
1/4 Cup shredded parmesan-reggiano
Chopped Basil

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Bring tomatoes to boil in a large dutch oven until skin start to pucker. Remove tomatoes and place into an ice bath until cool. Peel tomatoes and roughly chop. Put tomatoes back into dutch oven with water, garlic, herbs, sugar and salt & pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer until thick and bubbly.

Slice eggplant. Place eggplant slices on sheet paper liberally seasoned with salt on both sides. Bake in oven 10-12 minutes until soft. In an oven safe dish start to assemble eggplant stacks. Start with 2-3 eggplant slices, depending on size, per stack. Spoon a bit of tomato sauce over eggplant. Layer with 1 slice mozzarella. Repeat layering for 4 layers topping with eggplant on top. Spread shredded parmesan over each stack. Bake 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted and slightly browned on top.

1 comment:

  1. I love eggplant! Your version of eggplant parmesan looks delicious!


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