I've been on the fence about eggplants for awhile but recently heard someone refer to it as a 'poor persons meat' and for some reason found this appealing. This is a traditional, straight forward recipe that requires no frying in oil. When the eggplant comes out of the oven it should have a surprisingly light and pillowy quality.
Use any tomato sauce of your liking. The one feature here is bright tasting and very quick. (it's my new favorite for pizza as well.)
1 large eggplant, peeled and sliced
salt and pepper
1 egg, beaten
3/4 cup bread crumbs, purchased or homemade
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 portion fresh mozzarella
few sprigs fresh basil
about 1 cup tomato sauce, purchased or homemade (see below)
Begin by salting the eggplant to release its water and tame its bitterness. Do this by sprinkling/rubbing eggplant slices with salt, placing in a colander and weighing down. (heavy pot with a bag of rice or cookbook in it always works well.) Leave for 45 minutes. Dry slices with a towel.
Heat oven to 475 degrees. Set up an assembly line for yourself with the beaten egg in one shallow dish and the bread crumbs, grated parmesan cheese, salt and pepper combined in another. (easy on the salt as the eggplant slices are already salted.) Dip eggplant slices one by one into egg and then into bread crumb/parm mix coating well. Place onto baking sheet. Repeat with all slices and bake 15-20 minutes, until golden.
Remove from oven and turn on broiler, moving rack to highest position in oven. On each slice, place a leaf or two of fresh basil, a spoonful of tomato sauce and a thin slice of fresh mozzarella cheese. Return to oven and broil, until cheese is melted, about 4 minutes. Serve immediately.
Quick and Bright Tomato Sauce
1 tin whole peeled tomatoes
drizzle olive oil
2 cloves garlic, diced
salt and pepper
In a blender, puree tomatoes and all juices from can. Set aside. In a small pot, saute garlic in a small pan about 2 minutes. Add tomato puree cook until warm. Salt and pepper to taste.