Sometimes I pour over old cookbooks, looking for inspiration. Everyone has heard of eggplant parmesan, but this recipe is quite different from the typical Americanized version; no pre-salting, no breading and no frying. I thought I would miss the crunch. I didn’t. I was rewarded with flavor and fewer dishes to wash. There was supposed to be four servings. There were only two of us here and we normally eat like birds. We ate nearly the whole damn thing. Fewer left-overs cluttering up the fridge. Yay!
The Stuff You Need:
1 small to medium Eggplant, sliced about 1/2″ thick
a few Tablespoons Vegetable oil or My Blue Kitchen Tomato oil, to brush on the eggplant
1 & 1/2 to 2 cups Tomato sauce
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
1/2 teaspoon Paprika
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
1/2 teaspoon Red Pepper Flake
fresh Basil for garnish (optional)
How To Do This:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Arrange eggplant slices on the lined baking sheet. Lightly brush with oil on both sides.
- Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, flipping half-way through. Eggplant should be nicely browned and tender all the way through.
- Reduce oven temp to 350 degrees when eggplant is done.
- Ladle some tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9 x 9 baking dish.
- When eggplant has cooled enough to handle, arrange 1 layer of slices in the bottom of the baking dish.
- Sprinkle some of the seasonings and parmesan cheese over the eggplant, then a little more sauce.
- Repeat: eggplant, seasonings, cheese, sauce; until all the eggplant has been used.
- Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 25 to 30 minutes.
- Remove from oven and add the mozzarella cheese to the top. Bake an additional 5 to 7 minutes.
- Let it rest about 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with fresh basil, if you like.
Here’s what it looks like before it bakes. You can do stacks or even, lasagna-like layers. It’s entirely up to you. We enjoyed it as a main course, but this would be an excellent side dish also.
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