The first reasonably complex dish that my youngest daughter made on her own was
this Eggplant Parmesan. The only tedious part is the frying of the eggplant, but
without the frying step, the dish is very dry and certainly not traditional. I make
sure that I drain the fried eggplant well on paper towels, so the amount of oil in
the final dish is not too high. If you don't have fresh tomatoes, use canned diced
Preheat oven to 400°F.
- 2 medium sized eggplants (about 1.5 pounds, total)
- olive oil
- 4-6 ripe, beautiful tomatoes, peeled and chopped
- 1 pound mozzarella cheese, sliced
- 1/4 pound Parmesan cheese, grated
- fresh garlic, oregano, basil, and parsley to taste
Slice eggplants about 1/4" thick. Place the slices on cooling racks,
sprinkle with salt on both sides, and let sit for about 30 minutes.
Rinse off extra salt, and pat dry with paper towels.
Heat about 1/8" olive oil in a large frying pan, and fry the slices
on both sides until golden. As each batch is done, drain it on
paper towels while the remainder is frying. Place one layer of
eggplant in an oven-proof casserole. Cover with slices of mozzarella
and half of the herbs and tomatoes. Put remaining slices on top,
add the remaining mozzarella, herbs, tomatoes, and the Parmesan cheese.
Bake for 40 minutes or until golden brown.