Last night we got a call from the neighbor warning us that she would be bringing over some eggplant in the morning. I laid awake last night wracking my brain, thinking of ways to make eggplant palatable. True to her word, this morning she gave us a pile of them. I didn’t tell her that eggplant isn’t on my list of favorite vegetables. Instead, I thanked her as though she had given me a bag full of gold.
Then she went on to say she would be bringing more. I didn’t tell her that sounded like a threat to me. I have no choice now but to adopt eggplant my new favorite vegetable for the foreseeable future.
One way I really do love eggplant is Eggplant Parmesan, and that’s what I immediately set about making.
I sliced the largest eggplant into 1/4 inch rounds, salted them on both sides and put them in a colander to sweat and drain for about 1/2 hour, tossing them every now and then.
Using a clean kitchen towel I wiped the salt and moisture off the medallions and placed them on a baking tray leaving space between them. These went in a 400ºF oven to roast for 30 minutes. I flipped them over after about 20 minutes.
While the eggplant was sweating and baking, I chopped fresh chives, celery leaves and basil leaves and mixed them in part-skim ricotta along with garlic salt and onion powder. I spread each slice of eggplant with the ricotta mixture and arranged them on a bed of home canned tomato sauce in the bottom of a casserole dish.
I then sprinkled a layer of shredded Asiago cheese and a layer of Mexican crumbling cheese before spreading a layer of tomato sauce.
There were a few slices of eggplant left so I just scattered them randomly on top and topped everything with shredded cheeses tossed with bread crumbs and Italian herbs.
This was baked in a 400ºF oven for 30 minutes plus a few minutes under the broiler.
This dish tasted wonderful! Faye had a second serving and I had thirds. It was heavier on the tomato sauce than it needed to be, but I like it that way. This would have been perfect served on a bed of spaghetti. Next time I will do thinner layers of sauce and thicker slices of eggplant.