Summer CSA | Week 12
In our box: green beans, arugula, beets, muskmelon, zucchini, garlic, jalapeno peppers, sun gold tomatoes, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, tomatoes, eggplant
We are burning up. Trips to the splash pad, ice cream for lunch, and melon every night for dessert help, but if you had been looking for us these past few days, you would have found us holed up in various air conditioned spots around town. Heat like this makes produce usage a challenge. Who wants to eat when it's so hot? Who wants to even turn on the stove, let alone the oven?
Well, I did actually. We had two big, beautiful eggplants in this week's share. Silas was smitten with them and insisted that we use them immediately. We've tried so many eggplant dishes over the years. There have been hits and there have been misses, but there has only been one that was true love. You know what it is. That delightful medley of fried foods and mozzarella cheese? Yes, Eggplant Parm, you are welcome in my house any time. Make yourself comfortable.
This recipe isn't much different from all the other ones that will come up in your Google search. It's simple and absolutely perfect.
Last year: Eggplant Convert
Two years ago: Summer Squash Soup
2 eggplants (about 2 lbs.)
6-7 tomatoes (1 1/2 lbs.)
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 TBS. Italian seasoning
1/3 C. extra virgin olive oil
3/4 C. whole wheat flour
3/4 C. whole wheat bread crumbs
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 C. coconut oil
1 lb. fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced into 1/4" slices
1/2 C. Parmesan cheese, grated
1. Trim eggplants and then slice no more than 1/4" thick. This is key! Any thicker and they will not cook all the way through. Lay in a single layer in a large colander and sprinkle with salt. Weigh down with a bowl and let drain for 2 hours.
2. To prepare the tomato sauce: place the tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, and Italian seasoning into a blender or food processor. Season with salt and pepper and blend well.
3. When eggplant is drained, dry with paper towels.
4. In one wide, shallow dish combine flour, bread crumbs, and freshly ground black pepper. In a second wide, shallow dish beat the eggs.
5. Heat the coconut oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. When oil is hot, dredge the eggplant slices first in the flour mixture, then in the egg, and then in the flour mixture again. Working in batches, fry the coated eggplant until golden on both sides. Drain on a brown paper-lined plate.
6. Spread 1 C. of the tomato sauce into the bottom of a 9 x 13" glass baking dish. Top with 1/3 of the eggplant. Top those with half the mozzarella and sprinkle with 1/3 of the Parmesan cheese.
7. Ladle on another cup or so of the tomato sauce and top with eggplant, all the remaining mozzarella and 1/3 of the Parmesan.
8. Add the remaining eggplant, top with the remaining tomato sauce, and sprinkle on the remaining Parmesan.
9. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes.
Servings: 8 adults
Time: 3 hours total (30 minutes active)