Saturday, September 8, 2012

Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan

I didn't know there could be a meal as good as this.  The fresh tomato sauce mixed with dainty zucchini and firm eggplant is the most amazing combination of food I've had in a really long time.  I know eggplant is not a favorite veggie for many people, I am no different.  However, this recipe takes eggplant and transforms it into the most utterly delicious purple food on the planet.  Open a bottle of your favorite Syrah and say "Ahhh".  This is definitely a Sunday or Entertaining dinner, unless you make the tomato sauce in advance and have it on standby.  You could use another tomato sauce, but then we can't be friends anymore.

Tomato Sauce

1 lb mixed heirloom tomato or tomato on the vine, roughly chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 carrots peeled and chopped
1 onion cut into half
1 tablespoon oregano

1. Heat a deep pot over medium high heat
2. Swirl a few tablespoons of olive oil in the bottom of the pan
3. When hot add chopped tomatoes, garlic, carrots and saute about 5 minutes until tomatoes start to break down.
4. Add onion halves to the tomato mixture, then stir in oregano, salt and pepper
5. Let simmer over medium heat for at least 45 minutes.
6. When finished, remove onions and use an immersion blender to blend the ingredients.
7. Use as your would any other tomato sauce

Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan

1 medium sized eggplant
1 small zucchini
2 eggs
1 cup bread crumbs
1 tablespoon oregano
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon salt
6 oz mozzarella
2 cups tomato sauce (see below)
12 basil leaves

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
2. Slice zucchini and eggplant into 1 inch thick rounds.
3. Whisk two eggs together in a small bowl
4. Combine breadcrumbs, oregano, red pepper flakes and salt in a pie dish or similar sized plate
5. Dip the eggplant and zucchini in the egg mixture and then dredge in the bread crumb mixture and lay on the parchment paper
6. When oven is preheated, drizzle a touch of olive oil on the eggplant and zucchini and then put it in the oven and let cook 15 minutes.
7. After 15 minutes, turn the oven up to broil and broil on each side about 5 minutes until browned and crispy, then remove from the oven.
8. Meanwhile take a 9 by 13 pyrex dish and ladle a small bit of tomato sauce on the bottom of the dish.
9. Layer the zucchini and the eggplant in the dish, top with remaining tomato sauce and place a piece of mozzarella on each piece of zucchini and eggplant
10. Return to broiler and broil until brown spots appear on the cheese and it is bubbling
11. Remove from the oven and serve with some sauce drizzled around the veggies.  Top with fresh basil and parmesan cheese
12. Serve with crusty bread and salad.

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