July 14, 2021
This recipe is pretty dang simple and easy. The real trick is using ridiculous ripe tomatoes to make the sauce. Tasting each component along the way will lead you to a perfect eggplant parmesan.
I love this recipe. It is adapted from Alice Water's recipe from the cookbook "The Art of Simple Food II". If you have struggled with cooking eggplant in the past, this is a great recipe to get you comfortable with one of the silkiest, sweetest vegetables of the Summer season. If you like, you can sprinkle the top with breadcrumbs for an added crunch.Author:
2 lbs very ripe tomatoes, peeled, seeded, keep the juices
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 tsp chili flakes (optional)
1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano or 1 tsp dried oregano
1/4 cup olive oil
3 large balls fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4" thick circles
2 large globe eggplants, about 1 lb each, sliced into 3/4" thick circles
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup loosely packed basil leaves
Preheat oven to 425
Brush the sliced eggplant on both sides with olive oil using a pastry brush. Lay them in a single layer on a parchment lined sheet tray and sprinkle them with salt. Bake for 20 minutes. Flip and bake for an additional 10 minutes. They should be golden brown and tender when you remove them from the oven.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil, cut an x into the bottom of each tomato. Carefully place the tomatoes in the boiling water and cook for 30 seconds. Transfer to an ice bath and use your hands to remove and discard the skin as soon as they are cool enough to handle. You can use a food mill to remove the seeds from the tomatoes if you have one. If not, cut the tomatoes into 8 wedges and scoop the seeds out of the tomatoes and into a bowl using your thumbs. Place the seeds and juices in a mesh strainer to save all of the juices and discard the seeds. Finely chop the remaining seedless and skinless tomatoes and add them to the reserved tomato juices. You should end up with about 3 cups worth.
In a large sauté pan over medium high heat, warm 1/4 cup of olive oil and add in the minced garlic and chili flakes. Sauté until fragrant, then add in the tomatoes and reduce heat to medium. Cook for 10-15 minutes, stirring every couple of minutes and salt to taste. Add in 1 tsp of freshly chopped oregano to finish.
Reduce oven temperature to 375
Place 1/3 of your tomato sauce in the bottom of a 9"x9" glass or ceramic baking pan or in a cast iron pan. Place a layer of roasted eggplant on top of the sauce, squeezing the pieces in so they completely fill the bottom of the pan. Top each slice of roasted eggplant with a piece of fresh mozzarella. Place one leaf of basil on top of each slice of mozzarella and top with 1/3 of the grated parmesan. Repeat, finish the dish with a generous topping of grated parmesan.
Bake the dish for 20 minutes, until is bubbling. Turn oven up to broil for 1 minute or until the top is blistered and crispy. Allow to cool for ten minutes before enjoying! Makes excellent sandwich filling if you end up with any leftovers!
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