September 8, 2014

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan

I honestly surprise myself with the recipes I end up choosing to use sometimes. This was not only the first time I have ever used eggplant in a recipe, this was the first time I had ever eaten eggplant. And eggplant drowned in tomato sauce??? I don't even know myself anymore!

Eggplant has always been quite mysterious to me, but I figured since I like cooked zucchini I would most likely enjoy eggplant.

It went on sale at my local grocery store a couple of weeks ago and after seeing this recipe the day before I went shopping I decided to buy some. The only issue is once I cut those suckers open I thought for sure they had gone bad.

Turns out, there is a ring of seeds throughout the bottom of the eggplant that are supposed to be there. As long as the eggplant skin doesn't indent when you press on it and it's not mushy, you're good to go. Just thought I'd let any of you eggplant newbies, like myself, in on a couple of secrets.
Anyway, the point is, this was simply delicious and I'm salivating just looking at these pictures. I want more. 

And don't forget to make your dreams come true by serving this alongside some homemade garlic bread (recipe coming) and a green salad.

Roasted Eggplant Parmesan
2 large eggplants (about 3 lbs. total), sliced into ½-inch thick slices
Extra virgin olive oil, for brushing
Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
15 oz. can tomato sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella
¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan
Fresh basil, for garnish (optional)

1. Preheat the oven to 375˚ F.
2. Lay the eggplant slices out on baking sheets in a single layer. Brush lightly with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, flip and repeat on the other side of all the slices. Roast, flipping halfway through the baking time, until slightly soft and golden brown, about 35 minutes total. Increase the oven temperature to 400˚ F.
3. Spread half of the tomato sauce into a casserole dish or large sauté pan. Layer half of the eggplant slices evenly in the pan. Sprinkle with half of the grated Parmesan and half of the mozzarella. Spread the other half of tomato sauce over the cheese, add the remaining eggplant slices, and the remaining Parmesan and mozzarella. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until the cheese is browned and bubbling.
4. Remove from the oven and let cool 15 minutes. Garnish with fresh basil and serve warm.

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