The morning after returning from the cabin found me in the garden. I picked all of this:
Pictured from left to right: salsa, roasted tomato sauce (2 kinds), tomato chunks, and tomato juice. Not pictured: a large pot of cooked beets that got frozen, 3 bags of cucumbers (still sitting in my fridge), a few roasted red peppers (method to come soon), eggplant parmesan, and a big bag of zucchini that got turned into zucchini pizza.
Oh August, I have such a love/hate relationship with you!
(Don’t get me wrong, I’m very thankful for the abundance. It’s just daunting sometimes.)
Now let’s have some eggplant parmesan. We (Brad, Tage, and I) love this stuff but it was like making Jada eat sandpaper…every bite went down hard. But don’t let her dislike of the stuff deter you. This is a wonderful late summer recipe. It’s easier on your health than traditional eggplant parmesan in that the eggplant isn’t deep fried, just lightly pan fried. And I particularly love the tomato sauce. It makes the dish, in my opinion. Simple and chock full of veggies.
Adapted from The Central Market Cookbook, recipe submitted by Rose Meck
1 medium eggplant
1 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 T chopped fresh parsley
2 T chopped fresh basil
1 t salt
4 medium tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bell pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 T olive oil
1/2 t salt
2 T tomato powder* or paste
1/2 – 1 cup grated cheddar cheese
Slice eggplant into 1/2 inch thick slices. Lightly fry in a bit of oil and place in a greased 9 x 13 inch baking dish.
Mix the bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, herbs, and salt. If you use homemade bread crumbs and freshly grated cheese, you may wish to run them through the food processor to make them really fine. Sprinkle this mixture over the eggplant slices.
In a sauce pan, simmer the tomatoes, onion, pepper, garlic, and oil for about 20 minutes. Add the salt and tomato powder or paste. Blend with a hand blender just a little to smooth it out a bit. I like my sauce to be half smooth, half chunky. Spread the sauce on top of the eggplant.
*Tomato powder: I dry tomatoes in my food dehydrator until crispy and then blend them up to make a powder. I use this in place of tomato paste in most recipes. If you want, you can stir water into it to actually make a paste but if there’s already liquid in the ingredients, I just throw the powder in.