not quite eggplant parmesan

This is one of our perennial favorites that we keep on doing every once in a while. And which was forced into our menu when claes the pasta-hating swede would occasionally visit last century. Since our primary cuisine (pasta/risotto) was not an option.

This is just slightly more interesting variation of an eggplant parmesan recipe, which itself is not written in stone anyway. We found it in The Classic Vegetable Cookbook (p.132: gratin of eggplant)

ingredients

eggplant
3 medium eggplants, peeled, cut crosswise (or lengthwise) into 1/2 in slices
olive oil to coat
sauté group
3 T olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 sweet pepper (red or orange)
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 lb fresh mushrooms, cleaned and chopped
sauce maker
26 oz can chopped plum tomatoes
1 bay leaf
3 T fresh parsley, chopped
salt and pepper to taste
the parm
1 c freshly grated parmigiano

instructions

  1. Peel and slice the eggplant and brush with olive oil, coating all its surfaces, or use spray olive oil to reduce the amount of fat needed.
  2. Broil on two cookie sheets (since there are so many disks), turning over once, and switching the rack positions if they don't both fit on the same top rack of the oven.
  3. Meanwhile prep the veggies. Food process the onions, celery and pepper together and sauté in the olive oil.
  4. When softened, add in the garlic and sauté a bit, then add in the mushrooms and continue cooking till they are softened.
  5. Then add the tomatoes and spices and cook covered about 10 minutes, then uncovered about 10 minutes.
  6. Check the seasoning (salt and pepper).
  7. Layer the eggplant and sauce in a baking dish. Start with tomato sauce, then a layer of eggplant, then sprinkle parmigiano over it. Continue, ending with the remaining sauce and finally a cheese sprinkle.
  8. Bake in preheated oven at 350º for 30 minutes or until the top is golden.

notes

  1. Looks like we added the celery and a sweet pepper to this recipe and dropped the parsley (only 2 T anyway), although when we do buy celery for some recipe, the rest usually goes bad before we can think of something else to do with it. If none is on hand, forget it. And the amounts of eggplant and tomatoes are only suggestive. The "big cans" of pelati are sometimes 28 oz, sometimes more, and occasionally we go with fresh plum tomatoes. We like the smaller Italian eggplants, more of which are needed. And be generous with the parmigiano. Grate more if necessary.
nqegparm.htm: 18-may-2002 [what, ME cook? © 1984 dr bob enterprises]