Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Eggplant Parmeasan . . .

1. In late April or early May, go to your garden center and get 4-6 eggplants. I prefer the traditional large dark and the small neon varieties.

2. Plant them in good quality soil with plenty of organic matter and fish fertilizer. Do not use commercial fertilizers - this is not an anti-corporate screed, but just a matter of experience. Manure and dead fish simply work best!

3. Water and feed regularly (use an organic feed every two weeks, and maybe throw a handful of lime under the plant every now and then).

4. Harvest when ripe and wash.

5. Rinse about 3 lbs of eggplant, (enough to make two layers in a large pan), cut into 1/4 inch thick slices, place the slices on paper towels and lightly salt them. Let them stand 10 minutes.

6. Pat dry with paper towels and then fry the eggplant in copious amounts of oil - I prefer olive oil but cannola will work fine too.

7. Cook the eggplant until golden brown and set it aside on a plate.

8. Meanwhile, saute one or two onions in olive oil, add two large cans of tomatoes and one can of sauce, and simmer til slightly reduced.

9. Make one layer of the eggplant. Spoon half the sauce over it. Sprinkle with about 1 c. of bread crumbs, 1 c. grated parmeasan cheese (the real stuff, not out of a box), and then cover with 1/4 thick slices of mozarella (REAL mozarella, not Kraft mozarella). Repeat with another layer.

10. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes, covered for half the baking time.


*Remember this is not a precise recipe - you will want to get the feel for it and adjust ingredients according to your own tastes.



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