Eggplant Parmesan

Eggplant Parmesan

Source:  Mom’s Basic Recipe circ. 1970’s

Personal Notes:
Such a good, easy, basic recipe.  Serve it alone as a main dish with a nice green salad, or accompany it with  say, a Fondue meal.

2-med size eggplant Salt/pepper
4-eggs 4 cups tomato sauce
2 C. bread crumbs 2 packs fresh mozzarella cheese
Hi-heat organic oil Parmesan cheese to finish

Wash and peel the eggplant, then slice in circle shapes.  Be sure your slices are no wider than ½”  and try to keep them all the same size for even cooking.

Prepare 2 bowls:  In one bowl, mix up the eggs for dipping, in the other bowl (pie dish) fill the crumbs.

Heat oil (about ½”) in pan and begin to dip the sliced eggplant in egg mixture, then layer the breadcrumbs on the eggplant.  Once well coated, place into pan with temperature ready for frying.  Fry pieces, then layer fried pieces in a deep baking dish.

Begin first with 1 ladle of sauce on the bottom of baking dish.  Place fried eggplant pieces covering the bottom layer of the dish.  Place a quarter to fifty cent size of cheese ontop of each piece of eggplant.  Once first layer if complete, add another ladle of sauce ontop.  Begin the next layer, and continue until fried eggplant is finished.  This is usually 2-3 layers high-like a lasagna method.

Insert filled baking dish in a pre-heated 200C* oven and cook for about 20 min., or until top is golden and bubbly.

Serves 6: Serve immediately.

Baba Ghanouj

Baba Ghanouj

Source: Adapted from “The New Vegetarian Epicure” cookbook

Personal notes:
Eggplant, gives you some more ideas other than the standard Parmesan! Enjoy.

baba ghanouj
3 lbs. firm young eggplants ½ tsp. salt, more to taste
2 medium yellow onions 1 ½ Tbs. tahine (sesame paste)
½ head garlic 3 Tbs. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbs. olive oil pinch of cayenne

Optional garnish:  lots of fresh cilantro leaves and additional olive oil if desired.

Directions:
Prick the eggplants here and there with a fork, put them on a big baking sheet and roast them in a 400* oven until they are charred and collapsed-at least an hour.  Allow them to cool, then split them lengthwise with a sharp knife and scoop out the flesh, first pulling out and discarding any pockets of dark seeds.

While the eggplants are roasting, chop the onions and peel and mince the garlic.  Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the onion and garlic in it with ½ teaspoon of salt, stirring often, until they are a deep golden brown-probably at least 45 minutes.  The flavor of the dish depends much on this slow caramelizing of the onion and garlic.

Stir the cooked onion and garlic into the eggplant along with the tahine, lemon juice, and cayenne.  Now either chop everything finely until it has the texture you like, or process it a few seconds in a food processor for a smoother finish.

Let it rest 1-2 hours (refrigerate if longer), then taste it and correct the salt and lemon juice if needed.  Serve the Baba Ghanouj in a shallow bowl surrounded by lots of cilantro leaves and pass toasted pita triangles to dip into it.  If you’re not worried about fat content, you can drizzle more olive oil on top, but it certainly isn’t necessary.

Eggplant / Aubergine

Serves 6-8 generously, more if part of a buffet.