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October 15, 2015
catebogue

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Eggplant Parm Time!

I adore eggplant parmesan!  But…I’ve made some good ones and some great ones, and I’m still searching for THE recipe that will take me back to Italy.  I stumbled across this recipe from Elizabeth Minchilli, who I have followed for years.  She is an American married to an Italian living in Italy, and has written several books and writes a great blog on Italy.  Since it was October and the weather was turning a bit cooler, I decided to give this dish a whirl.  Boy am I glad I did! Add a salad (and some crusty bread if you like) and you’re set!

EGGPLANT PARMEGIANA

(Adapted from Elizabeth Minchilli)

elizabethminchilli

elizabethminchilli

3 pounds eggplant

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 half onion, chopped finely

3 cloves garlic, chopped finely

4 cups tomato puree

1 12 cups grated parmesan cheese

Fresh basil if you have it. If not, dried oregano

salt, pepper

olive oil (about a cup)

Cate Bogue

Cate Bogue

4 individual baking serving dishes, about 5 inch diameter (or just use a 9×13 glass or ceramic baking dish)

Slice the stems off of the eggplants, and then slice into half inch slices. Sprinkle with salt and let them purge their bitter juices. After about an hour you will see droplets of water. Using paper towels blot dry.

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Cate Bogue

While the eggplants are purging, make your sauce. Put 3 tablespoons of olive oil into a pot. Add onion and cook till soft, about 8 minutes.

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catebogue

Add garlic and let cook for a few minutes. Add the tomato sauce, ½ tsp salt, basil (or oregano) stir and let simmer for about 15 minutes. The sauce shouldn’t be too thick, so add a bit of water if you need too. Taste and adjust for seasoning.

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catebogue

Lightly coat the eggplant slices with olive oil.

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catebogue

Now you have to cook your eggplant. I do this various ways depending on how I feel. The greatest way it to cook them over coals, so if you have a grill going this is fantastic. If not, you can always cook them under the broiler (be careful not to let them burn, and flip them half way, after about 5 minutes) or else you can just pan fry them in about a half inch of olive oil. This last method is the richest. I broiled mine.

catebogue

catebogue

To assemble your dish:

Coat each dish with olive oil.

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First is a layer of eggplant.

catebogue

catebogue

Next a layer of grated mozzarella. Then a layer of grated parmesan.

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catebogue

Then a layer of tomato sauce. Repeat this 1 or 2 more times – depending on how large your container is and how much eggplant you have.

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catebogue

Place in a preheated 350 degree F oven for about 25 minutes, until it is bubbly and the cheese on top has started to brown.

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catebogue

To serve: it’s usually best if you let the dish cool off at least a bit, so the mozzarella has time to firm up a bit. About 10 to 15 minutes.

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catebogue

CHOPPED SALAD
(Adapted from Epicurious)
epicurious

epicurious

DRESSING:

2 TBSP white wine vinegar

1 tsp sugar

1 small shallot, minced

1/3 cup olive oil

catebogue

catebogue

SALAD:

1 medium head romaine, chopped (4 to 6 cups)

1 seedless hothouse cucumber, diced (3 1/2 cups)

1 pint grape tomatoes, halved (1 3/4 cups)

1 red bell pepper, diced (1 1/2 cups)

2 celery stalks, halved lengthwise and finely chopped (1 cup)

3 carrots, finely chopped (1 3/4 cups)

1 small red onion, finely chopped

1 cup pitted kalamata olives, halved

catebogue

catebogue

Whisk together vinegar, sugar, shallot, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl.  Allow ingredients to sit for 15 minutes.
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catebogue

 Then add oil in a stream, whisking until combined well.

catebogue

catebogue

catebogue

catebogue

Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl (I left off celery and red onion since my husband hates them!).

catebogue

catebogue

Pour dressing over. Season salad with salt and pepper and serve!

catebogue

catebogue

***Serve with your favorite red wine.  Here’s mine:

catebogue

catebogue

Buon appetito!!!

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