Eggplant is one great underrated vegetable which for centuries the Italians have respected. This recipe is based on the Italian Melanzane di Parmigiana. Layers of eggplant slices, mozzarella and tomato sauce are baked to golden topped perfection.
1 large eggplant
Salt for dusting eggplant
Plain flour seasoned with pepper
for dusting eggplant (approx 150g)
750 gms tomato sauce
200g grated mozzarella cheese
100g grated parmesan
1 tbsp fresh marjoram
1 tbsp fresh basil
Light-flavoured oil for frying
(peanut, sunflower, canola)
Cut eggplants into 1 -- 1 1/2 cm slices, sprinkle with salt, cover with plate and put weight on top and allow to stand for an hour to remove bitter juices. Wash thoroughly, dry with paper towel, and dust with seasoned flour. Dredge off excess by shaking slices in a large sieve. Fry in oil for 4 or 5 minutes until the slices have browned. In the bottom of a ceramic, enameled or glass baking dish spread some tomato sauce, lay a carpet of eggplant pieces, then more sauce, a sprinkling of mozzarella, and fresh herbs. Repeat the layering until all eggplant has been used, finishing with tomato sauce topped with mozzarella and parmesan cheese.
Bake in oven at 190C for 40 minutes. Serve hot.
Degree of difficulty: Low
Keepability: Keeps for a couple of days in the refrigerator.
May also be served as a salad.
Since eggplant is inclined to be a bit oil thirsty it's a good idea to use a non-stick pan to reduce the amount of oil necessary for this dish. Another good idea is to serve crusty fresh bread and a big green salad with the Eggplant Parmenter.