Thursday, August 11, 2005
EGGPLANT PARMESAN with RICOTTA and FRESH BASIL
I make Eggplant Parmesan every summer when eggplants are available from the local produce stand. I usually use a basic recipe that requires breading and frying slices of eggplant.
Without the process of breading and frying eggplant slices, this is method of making eggplant parmesan is less messy and far less time-consuming.
2 eggplants -2 pounds total
1/3 cup mayo
3/4 cup bread crumbs
1 1/2 cups tomato sauce
1 garlic clove pressed
2 T dry red wine
1 cup part-skim Ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 pound (2 1/2 cups) grated mozzarella cheese
2 T minced fresh basil
1. Peel the eggplant and slice it 1/2 inch thick. Place the mayo in a dish and the bread crumbs on a plate. With a pastry brush, lightly coat both sides of each eggplant slice with mayo, then dip in bread crumbs to coat both sides. Place the slices on a baking sheet and broil on both sides until golden brown and tender but not mushy. Place the eggplant on a platter and let cool.
2. Preheat the oven to 375. Combine the tomato sauce, garlic, and red wine in a med bowl. In a seperate bowl, beat together the ricotta and parmesan cheeses.
3. Pour half the sauce into a 12x7x2 inch baking dish or other 2 1/2 qt baking dish. Cover with half the eggplant slices, then spoon on all the ricotta mixture. Sprinkle on half of the mozzarella, then top with all the basil. Place the remaining eggplant slices on top, pour on the remaining sauce, then top with the remaining mozzarella cheese.
4. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil. ( The recipe may be prepared up to this point and chilled up to 8 hours in advance. Bring to room temperature before baking.) Bake, covered, 15 minutes; remove the foil and bake 15 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly. Remove from the oven and let sit 10 minutes more before serving.
Variation: Leftover Eggplant Parmesan makes delicious submarine sandwiches. Reheat it in the oven, then place on heated submarine, grinder, or hero roll.