I came home and realized I forgot to thaw anything for dinner and I didn't want to eat chili for third meal in a row. It was rather early on a Wednesday evening and my refrigerator was bursting with refugee ingredients from the roommate's weekend ski getaway and a week of lightly used organic vegetable delivery. The eggplant I purchased a few days ago for no particular reason stared at me and whispered "make eggplant parmesan" softly from the crisper drawer.
So I pulled my copy of The Cook's Encyclopedia of Italian Cooking published by Barnes & Noble and purchased by me at Goodwill off my new bookshelf and found the classic recipe – Eggplant Parmesan to start.
I sliced and salted the eggplant, then started on the sauce.
The base tomato sauce for eggplant parmesan is simply diced onion, diced garlic, a little bit of basil, salt and pepper, and of course – diced tomatoes. Cook the onions and garlic in olive oil until they are translucent, then add the tomato sauce, salt and pepper and basil. I added a whole bunch of fresh basil because I had a whole bunch that needed to be used. I also added a dash of red wine because cooking with wine makes everything better. Then I covered it and let it simmer while I prepared the eggplant.
Cover the sliced eggplant in flour then place in a lightly oiled pan to fry.
Brown it on both sides and repeat with the rest of the eggplant.
Now it is time to stack everything together with parmesan and provolone and/or mozzerella cheese. I used what I believed to be provolone from the refugee ski trip cheese, you can use mozzarella, I believe that any white cheese will probably do as long as it is not too stinky.
Last but not least put everything into the oven at 350 degrees for about 30 to 45 minutes until it is bubbling goodness and looks like this.
Classic Eggplant Parmesan with Extra Basil
1 large eggplant, sliced into 1/2 inch slices
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour (for dipping the eggplant in prior to frying)
1/4 cup organic canola oil (use about one tablespoon at a time while frying)
1 cup grated parmesan cheese
10-15 slices of a mild white cheese (mozzarella or provolone)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tbsp of olive oil (for frying the onion and garlic)
1 28 ounce can of diced tomatoes
2 tbsp red wine
1/2 cup fresh basil, finely chopped
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
Follow the steps as outlined above and enjoy!