PEEL…that’s the answer! Then there’s no tough bitter skin to deal with. After hacking my way through the basil and then covering the kitchen and myself with tomatoes I needed to do something with all that sauce.
The eggplant looked good at the grocery store so there I had it. Then I started thinking about all the dipping, breading and frying. And about the way the eggplant slices soak up all that oil. I decided that was way to heavy for my fresh sauce and hips.
So I made a lighter version just brushing the slices with a little olive oil then roasting them until they turned a lovely golden color. The result was a lighter tastier version of the fried classic.
Don’t get me wrong, oh how I love the traditional egging, breading, and frying. But this, for one thing, was quicker, easier, and didn’t give my kitchen that fried food smell.
One thing to note cut the slices fairly thick (about ¼ inch) that way they won’t shrivel and disintegrate into nothing. I served this as sort of a pasta substitute with grilled veal chops. It was a hit all the way around.
2 Eggplant – peeled and sliced in ¼ inch pieces
7 oz grated Parmesan cheese (or pecorino – v.tasty too!)
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese
8 cups of fresh tomato sauce – maybe a little more or less depending on the size of your dish
Preheat oven to 450°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place eggplant slices on baking sheet and brush with a little olive oil. Roast for 7-10 minutes until golden. Flip them over brush the other side with olive oil and roast for an additional 5 or so minutes. Keep an eye on them you want the slices to be tender but not collapsed.
Spread a little tomato sauce in the bottom of an ovenproof dish. Top with eggplant slices, sprinkle some grated Parmesan over then top with more tomato sauce, etc, etc…Top the last layer with mozzarella cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly around the edges. Remove foil and bake for an additional 7-10 minutes or until the cheese melts. Let sit about 5 minutes before tucking in!