Sharon's Recipes

NOVEMBER: Eggplant Parmesan With Fresh Mozzarella

I was looking through some of my food magazines last week for something new to make for a vegetarian meal.  I found this and made it for 8 for dinner. It was fast and easy and delicious. I have since made it for breakfast for my B&B guests with a poached egg on top.  They loved it.  And I am thinking of using it for a vegetarian option at weddings as well as the Napoleon version that I am already doing. This is from Bon Appetit October 2013.

Ingredients:

3/4 cup plus 2 T. olive oil, divided
1 medium onion, finely chopped
10 cloves of garlic, 2 finely chopped, 8 whole
2 T. tomato paste  ( I used the one with herbs in it )
1 28 0z. can whole peeled tomatoes  ( I used Muir Clen Diced Fire Roasted )
4 medium or 8 small eggplant, about 4 lbs halved lengthwise
8 sprigs fresh oregano
1 & 1/4 cups fresh bread crumbs
12 oz. fresh mozzarella torn or sliced
3 oz. parmesan, finely grated, about 3/4 cup

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Using a vegetable peeler remove skin from around the rounded side of the eggplant half, leaving a 1 inch strip around the cut edge.Place eggplant in one or two  large rimmed baking sheets ( half sheet pans) placing the oregano sprigs and whole garlic around the eggplant. Add 1/2 cup of oil and turn to coat the eggplant. Season with salt and pepper, turn face down.

Cover the pan tightly with tin foil and bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until soft.

Heat 1/4 cup of oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add onion and cook until browning on the edges. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Add tomato paste, stir and cook 2 minutes. Add tomatoes, bring to a boil. Add salt and pepper and cook on medium heat, cover slightly, for about 15 – 20 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and have fallen apart. The sauce should have thickened by this time.  Set aside.

Toss breadcrumbs with 2 T. oil in a small bowl. Remove eggplant from the oven and turn right side up.  Cover with the tomato sauce and mozzarella. Sprinkle with the bread crumbs and top with the parmesan. Bake until the mozzarella is bubbling and the bread crumbs are golden, 25 – 30 minutes.

Sauce and eggplant can be made a day ahead. Assemble 4 hours before cooking so that you can visit with your guests.

serves 8

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