Photo by hulagun
My grandmother used to make a really good eggplant parmesan. This isn't that recipe, because that seemed like a lot of work! This is a fast and delicious alternative way to cook that beautiful eggplant or green tomatoes sitting there mocking you. Accompany with a simple green salad.
- 1 medium eggplant, diced with skin on
- 4 small green heirloom tomatoes, sliced 1/4" thick, then cut in half
- 2-3 ripe roma or red ripe tomatoes, diced
- 1 yellow or white onion, diced
- 1 to 1 1/2 cups tomato pasta sauce from a jar (I used Barilla Roasted Garlic)
- 1 lb hot Italian bulk sausage
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
- 4 slices dry wheat toast, diced
- 1/4 lb. fresh whole milk mozzarella
- 2 tablespoons grated parmesan
- Canola oil for frying
- Fresh ground black pepper
1. Break up the sausage into small clumps and brown it well in a large hot pan. Remove the cooked sausage to a large mixing bowl, leaving all the grease in the pan.
2. Fry the green tomato slices in the hot grease until they start to turn tan and transparent, on both sides. Move the green tomatoes from the pan to the bowl with the cooked sausage.
3. Add 1/2 tablespoon of canola oil to the pan and let it get hot. Cook the diced onions until they clarify and then add the garlic. As soon as the garlic starts to turn tan, add the red tomatoes. Let it cook for a couple minutes until the tomatoes soften. Pour the tomato and onion mixture into the bowl with the sausage.
4. Your hot pan should now be somewhat dry and brown, but it's OK if there is still oil in it,. Don't add any oil. Sprinkle a big dash or two of salt into the hot pan, then add the eggplant cubes. Let them dry roast, stirring occasionally, until they start to crisp on at least two sides. (Now is a good time to toast and dice the wheat bread). Once the eggplant looks browned and ready pour it in the bowl with the sausage and tomatoes.
5. Add one cup of the pasta sauce to the bowl. Then the toast cubes.You don't want the end result too soggy. If the mix seems too dry after you mix in the toasted bread cubes, just add a little more pasta sauce.
6. Add a couple pinches of fresh ground pepper and mix it all well.
7. Butter a 9x9 inch baking dish. Pour the eggplant mixture into the dish and gently pat it all flat.
8. Bake the dish in the hot oven at 375º for 25-35 minutes.
9. Remove from oven and lay thin slices of mozzarella cheese over the top to fully cover the mix. Then sprinkle the parmesan cheese over the mozzarella. Return the dish to the hot oven for 8-10 minutes, or until the mozzarella melts and browns.
Remove from the oven and rest it for a few minutes before serving. Enjoy!