In my last post, I showed you how to refashion zucchini into mock apple cobbler. In this post I’ll show you how to turn these beautiful eggplants into this amazing eggplant Parmesan.
Doesn’t this look delish? Here’s how I did it:
2 medium eggplants, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
2-3 eggs, beaten
Italian bread crumbs (I used Progresso)
1 12-oz package of sliced provolone cheese (I used Sargento)
Spicy roasted red pepper and sausage marinara sauce (recipe below)
Heat several tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy skillet. Dip the eggplant slices into the beaten eggs and dredge in the bread crumbs. Fry 3-4 slices at a time over medium heat. Cook several minutes on both sides until golden brown. Repeat with remaining eggplant slices. Replace the olive oil when the bits of bread crumbs on the bottom of the pan begin to burn (about every other batch). Drain eggplant on paper towels. To assemble the dish, spoon a thin layer of marinara sauce on the bottom of an 8-inch square baking dish, add a layer of eggplant, followed by more marinara sauce, and a layer of provolone cheese. Repeat layers until the dish is full (2-3 layers deep). Top with cheese. Bake, uncovered, at 350 degrees until the cheese is golden brown and the edges are bubbling. Cool for 15-20 minutes before serving. Cut into squares.
Spicy Roasted Red Pepper and Sausage Marinara Sauce
(My own concoction–an easy and fabulous almost homemade sauce)
1 16-oz. roll of spicy Italian ground sausage (I used Bob Evans), browned and drained
1 26-oz. jar of spaghetti sauce (I used Prego)
1 15-oz. can of Manwich sauce (for a little extra zest)
1 12-oz. jar of roasted red peppers (pureed in a blender with their liquid)
1 tablespoon chopped garlic
1 onion, peeled and diced
1 green pepper, seeded and diced
A bunch of fresh basil, chopped (the more the merrier)
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon truffle oil
1/2 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Combine all ingredients in a large saucepan and simmer over medium heat. You can use this sauce when it’s heated through, but I prefer to simmer it slowly until the color deepens to a deep, rich red and the sauce almost scorches on the bottom of the pan. Watch it carefully, stirring often, to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Serve the eggplant Parmesan with a Caesar salad (mixed salad greens, shredded Parmesan Reggiano cheese, garlic croutons, diced ham, green peas, and Caesar dressing) and garlic bread or Texas toast.
Doesn’t this look amazing?
Give this a try and let me know what you think. Don’t cheat and use just a jar of store-bought spaghetti sauce. Take the extra time to doctor it up the way I did into a really delicious sauce. A good sauce really makes this dish. Enjoy!