Tuesday, November 9, 2010

End of Summer Eggplant...

So we finally pulled out the last of our summer garden last Saturday…our summer was so cool lots of things took longer than usual to ripen and when we did have a mini heat spell in early October several of our plants really got in gear and decided it was time to produce - go figure - Mother Nature can really mess with a plant’s head! These factors made it really hard to pull out the summer plants, even though it should have been done weeks ago! But my large post-it note that says PLANT SWEET PEA SEEDS HALLOWEEN WEEKEND has been screaming at me for a week now and since those plants reside along the fence at the back of my vegetable garden I was motivated…

When I pull out these last plants there is always one last pile of summer veggies that need to either be eaten or preserved…cherry tomatoes eaten, no problem…bell and ‘big bob’ peppers, probably preserved…half a dozen eggplant, hmmmm…I decided this was a good time to make my ‘Sort of like lasagna, too many eggplant, one pan meal’ recipe. It’s easy and a big winner around here. And best of all you can make substitutions all over the place and it still tastes great.

3 eggplant - sliced
1 qt. jar canned tomatoes or marinara sauce
2 cups grated cheese - parmesan or Romano work well (now this time I had some left over ‘stuffed mushroom appetizer’ stuffing - it has bread crumbs, garlic, Romano cheese, chopped mushroom stems cooked in Marsala wine and parsley - I used that and it was really a nice add)
Olive oil

Heat oven to 375 degrees
Heat a large frying pan on medium/high heat
Brush both sides of the eggplant with olive oil
Cook eggplant in pan - 5 minutes per side, remove from pan continue with eggplant slices until all are cooked.
Put one layer of eggplant slices on the bottom of an 8”x8” pan
Cover eggplant with ½ the jar of tomato
Sprinkle with ½ the cheese
Repeat the layers
Cover pan with tinfoil and put in an oven for 20 minutes, remove the foil and cook for 10 more minutes to get the top layer of cheese a little crispy.

Serve with a side salad and there you go…quick, easy breezy, no fuss dinner…and we all like those every once and a while!

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