Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Eggplant Parmesan

This is not, I confess, a terribly authentic eggplant parmesan. The real thing involves frying in olive oil, and eggs, and breadcrumbs, and stuff like that and I really can't be arsed; not to mention that even with this version the amount of fat in it strikes me as elegantly sufficient. If you are able to brush the eggplant with a little oil and grill it before you assemble the casserole, I suspect that would be a very good thing.

2 hours - 1/2 hour prep time

Eggplant Parmesan
2 medium eggplants
2 cups tomato sauce
1 teaspoon rubbed basil
1 teaspoon rubbed oregano
2 large tomatoes (optional)
250 grams (1/2 pound) mozzerella cheese
1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese

Peel the eggplants and cut them in half. Slice each half into slices about 1 cm thick; you should get three or four of them. Keep them together in sets. Salt the slices and put them aside to drain for about half an hour, then rinse them and pat them dry. If you don't do this, the eggplants will exude quite a lot of juice as they cook. If you are serving these with rice, you may decide that isn't a terrible thing and skip this step.

Mix the herbs with the sauce. Slice the tomatoes, if using. Slice the mozzerella cheese and grate the Parmesan.

Lightly oil a baking pan that will hold the eggplant halves fairly snugly. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Pour a little of the sauce over the bottom of the pan, and lay the largest slice from each set of eggplant halves in the pan. Top each slice with a little more sauce, some mozzerella, and a tomato slice, if using. Top with the next slice of eggplant and repeat.

When the eggplant halves are re-assembled, pour any remaing sauce over and cover the dish with foil. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, until the eggplant is quite tender. Remove the foil and sprinkle the Parmesan evenly over the eggplants. Return to the oven and bake for a further 20 minutes, until well browned. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving, if only because it will be brutally hot otherwise. Careful; it might be brutally hot anyway.


Joanne said...

As an Italian, I think this is a perfectly reasonable eggplant parmesan. It's how I would do it! And it's still got so much cheesy goodness.

Ferdzy said...

Well, that's good to hear. Of course it really is hard to go too wrong with lots of cheese.