Sunday, May 17, 2009

Eggplant Sunday

I happened to pick up the cutest Purple Eggplants this weekend at the Farmer's Mkt.
This one I named Priscilla.

Lazy Girl's Eggplant Parm
1-3 Purple Eggplants
1 lb Mozzarella Cheese (don't bother with pre-shredded, buy the block)
Parmesan Cheese
1 small container of Ricotta Cheese
4 C Tomato Sauce (I cheated and used Bertolli Fire Roasted)
handful fresh flat leaf parsley
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 375*

Peel and slice the eggplants either into planks, or rounds. There is no need to salt them- they really aren't bitter anymore like they were back in the old country, when Nonna salted them before frying.

Mix up a few eggs with a splash of ice water in a shallow bowl

Use a flat dish for breading, season your breadcrumbs (unless you are using the yucky pre-seasoned kind)

We won't be frying today kids- we are gonna bake them. Frying eggplant is nuts- they soak up SO MUCH oil it's disgusting. This tastes fantastic and you can go crazy with the cheese because you aren't using oil.

So- egg, then crumb, then do just ONE LAYER on a pan-sprayed parchment or foil lined cookie sheet. Spritz the tops with more pan spray (just a little, it doesn't matter, they will brown either way if you don't want to use it)

Cook these for about 15 minutes, wait for them to get golden and gorgeous. Meanwhile mix up your ricotta (we say Ree-Got) adding minced parsley, and a few handfuls of parm. I don't care if you want to use the green can, but it's much tastier if you get a block of parm and grate it. Ok, I do care. NO GREEN CAN!! Get the good stuff, again you aren't frying- go for it! You can do some lunges later to make up for it.

Where am I? Ok yeah, once they are all baked nice and golden, spread a thin layer of sauce on the bottom of the pan (I used a 5x10) I guess it was. It's a dark pan. I wanted the cheese crusty.

It's easy now- one layer of cooked eggplant, followed by some sauce, the ricotta mix, another layer of eggplant, sauce, now top with the mozzerella and some more parm- let it snow.

<---- I wish I wiped the plate before I took this shot.

Just bake it in that 375 oven if you want, or crank it back to the 350*standard that I grew up hearing. It took 30 minutes and it was sublime...

<---- No one cares if you apply the mozz all sloppy-like. See mine? I added some dried basil and oregano, just cuz.

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