Another in the Lenten Season Series
One of my favorite dishes, which is so good you forget that it is vegetarian, or at least a meatless main dish. An ingredient we keep coming back to repeatedly, eggplant is so good in so many ways, and this preparation pulls out the subtle nuances with the tomato sauce, Italian breadcrumbs, olive oil, and Parmesan cheese making it our Italian cousins favorite.
The tender sautéed eggplant slices melt in your mouth with every bite of natures bounty and goodness!
|1||Cup||Parmesan cheese, divided|
|2||Lb.||Eggplant, peeled and cut into ½ – inch slices|
|¼||Cup||Olive oil, divided|
|2||Cups||Fire roasted tomato sauce|
|2||Cups||Mozzarella cheese, shredded|
|Procedure Steps Note: Pre-heat oven to 350° F|
|1.||Combine the egg, milk, and ¼ cup of the Parmesan cheese and mix well in a shallow pan or bowl.|
|2.||Place breadcrumbs in another shallow pan or bowl. Then starting in small batches of five to six eggplant slices, dip them in the egg wash and then dredge into the breadcrumbs.|
|3.||Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the first batch of breaded eggplant slices to the hot oil and sauté for 5 minutes per side or until golden brown. Transfer to a 9×13 baking dish that has been coated with cooking spray. Top each layer of eggplant with some of the tomato sauce, just enough to coat. Then sprinkle some of the Parmesan cheese on top. Wipe the sauté pan with a paper towel and continue with heating another tablespoon of olive oil and breading and sautéing the eggplant in batches until done. Continue to layer the sautéed eggplant slices in the baking dish, spoon on some more tomato sauce over all the eggplant slices and sprinkling Parmesan cheese.|
|4.||Bake, uncovered in a pre-heated 350° F oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven, and turn the oven heat up to 400° F, then sprinkle the mozzarella cheese evenly over the eggplant and return to the oven for another 10 minutes, or until the cheese melts, and is golden. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 5 minutes before serving.|