Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

I've always loved the color of eggplant (aubergine if you're feeling sassy) but have found it more difficult to enjoy the vegetable itself. The health and environmental benefits of eating vegetarian meals are well-documented and I'm trying to incorporate more of these into our diet. To help with the transition I'm using a lot of eggplant and mushrooms to help our meals have that "meaty" feel without actual meat. Don't be surprised to see a lot more of both around these parts! This recipe, while good, needs some modifications to be more authentic. First, I wouldn't call it "eggplant parmesan" as it ended up more like a lasagna and totally lacked in breadcrumbs - the best part! Roasting the eggplant first did add a nice layer of flavor and I'll try that technique with some other recipes.

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan (adapted from Good Housekeeping)
2 small eggplants, ends trimmed, cut into 1/2" thick slices
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 28oz can plum tomatoes, drained and chopped (I used fresh as they were on hand)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/3 cup chopped fresh parsley (I omitted)
4 oz shredded mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Place eggplant slices on cookie sheets and brush oil on both sides. Sprinkle with 1/4 tsp salt. Roast 15 minutes; turn slices and roast until browned and tender, about 20 more minutes.

Meanwhile, in large skillet, combine tomatoes, remaining salt and pepper; heat to boiling over medium heat. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, until tomatoes have thickened, about 20 minutes.

Turn oven to 400 degrees. In shallow casserole dish, layer half of eggplant and top with half tomato sauce. Sprinkle with half mozzarella. Repeat layers; top with grated Parmesan.

Cover loosely with foil. Bake until bubbling, about 10 minutes. Remove dish from oven and let stand about 10 minutes prior to serving.

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